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Behind Blue Eyes by The Who


People seldom talk about it. When it occurs, it is spoken of in stage whispers. It is a secretive thing and with every person it shares a secret meaning. Here is the secret death shares with me.

When I was a young lad, I was always and forever trying to help people do whatever it was they were doing. I do not believe I was this way because of any noble reasons such as easing their work load or to show them an easier way; to the contrary, I more than likely made their job harder having to answer my multitude of questions and I probably slowed them down trying to do things a little different. But still I tried and always I was attempting things beyond my abilities because I could not understand that I couldn't.

Thus it was that when I was six years old, my mother comes rushing inside our house in answer to my screams to find me standing atop the drainboard of the wash sink with my hand caught in the wringer of the electric washer. I had been taking the clothes out of the machine and feeding them between the top rollers so I could watch the water being squeezed out of each piece and emerge as a flattened, compacted mass. Being an inquisitive sort, I wondered how many towels those rollers could mash together without becoming clogged. Apparently, I discovered their limit and, in attempting to shove the remaining dripping tangle of towels through, I accidentally got my hand caught up in the whole thing and there I was. The towels made it on through, but my thumb was sticking up and those rollers were just spinning away and peeling the skin right off my hand.

Mom shut off the machine, released the locking mechanism atop the rollers relieving the pressure, and rushed me to Dr. Bush, the same man who brought me into this world. He put on some disinfectant salve which hurt as much as, or more than, the injury itself did and put on some bandages while telling me sternly to hold still. He instructed my folks how to and how often to change the dressing and said that time would take care of the healing. For my part of the episode, I received a lot of pain and a handsome star shaped scar on my right hand.

At the time, I think I was more scared than I was hurt, although it did hurt a great deal. But, just as the Doc predicted, the hurt did go away with time. For the first few days though, I wasn't able to use my right hand without the pain reminding me that I shouldn't try using it yet. Even after the bandages were removed and you could see the bright pink of new skin growth, it hurt to touch my palm. But even that pain went away with time. I'm not certain when it happened, but eventually I was able to touch my palm again without it hurting. Now, thirty some years later, all I have to remind me of the suffering of that ordeal is a scar which I glance at occasionally to confirm which way is right or left. Even the memory of the pain is a dim and distant thing in my mind. Remembered but no longer felt.

There is another kind of hurt besides physical. When death claims a loved one from us, we have a mental hurt which is every bit as painful and scary as a physical wound. Friends will apply salve to the wound, but it is sometimes just as painful as the hurt inside us. Only time and God's grace can heal our wound. The pain does go away. If you should accidentally bump the fresh protective growth enclosing your pain before it's completely healed, the pain aches as if it had never left, but even that diminishes with time's inevitable passage. There will come the moment when you can again touch the scar without feeling the hurt, but you never forget that it did once hurt a great deal.

Forever will you have a scar there. It is nature's bandage and it reminds you that you were hurt but the pain is gone. Death can leave a scar that can be disfiguring or it can leave a scar that you can use to help others. This is the secret death shared with me. By showing my scar to someone, and telling them how I got it, I am applying the salve I possess. I pray that it will help heal your hurt.

Billie Dean

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For more resources and excellent support, be sure to check out Geocities Heartland F.A.I.T.H. HomeStead. It is well worth sharing with others.

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Secret Scar.