~a series of usually metal links or rings connected to or fitted into one another and used for various purposes (as support, restraint, transmission of mechanical power, or measurement)
~something that confines, restrains, or secures
~a series of things linked, connected, or associated together
All hurt at one time. Some heal, with silvery scars only faintly known. Others fester and and ooze, the odor of bitterness noted long before the origin is seen. And some, some are so deep, so hidden with makeshift fleshly gauze that they are overlooked and forgotten for a moment. And the moment always passes or flees, and the dressing is ripped away with a word or look or rejection, revealing broken capillaries and rotting edges.
These are wounds. Self-inflicted. Borrowed. Received. Hoarded.
The loss of a child. The death of a parent. The silence between two lovers that is deafening. The waiting for the return of the prodigal son. The words of wrath and rambling rejection. Guilt. Fear. Failure. Loneliness.
These are all wounds. A part of the human journey that can cripple and amputate hope. A scarring that can maim joy. A source of hopelessness that can be relived over and over with each tearing of the band-aid.
And in this moment, when the wounds have crippled and scarred and necrotized your spirit, you are chained. You are bound with rusty links that tear into your wounds, infecting the very life-blood of your soul.
This is not how it is meant to be. Yes, this world is imperfect. Yes, we are human and born into sin and but for grace, we would be dead.
But for grace...
And this, this Grace Moment, is where He makes beautiful things out of the splintered hearts and rotting wounds.
This is where All Things are Made New.
And even the looming word "chains" takes new meaning. For He has breathed new life into the dying soul. The life-blood flows, sending nutrients of peace and joy and healing to the wounds of our soul.
And here, when we let go of our own makeshift remedies and temporary ointments, here is where we are linked to grace. Connected. Secured. Supported.
The very definition of "chain", once echoing slavery, now shouts freedom.
You are now chained to Grace, when you allow the Great Physician to be the Grace you need, long for, and choose to give others.
By ourselves, we are a heaping mess. I have no grace to give, as humbling as that is to say. I can only give and receive grace when I realize the Grace-Giver.
What are your wounds? Are your chains rusty, or are you linked with Grace?
And on a personal note, dear friends from near and far, this lesson was learned in the most trying times. The marriage I knew was dead, and there is no blame to be tossed or received by him or me. We both are wounded beings, and through the Grace-Giver, have found hope in the aftermath. The dust settled, and restoration was spoken. Now, we walk in Grace and Forgiveness. A daily journey and dying to self. Sometimes, almost a minute by minute choosing to Love, even when the wounds are raw.
Do not lose Hope. You women and men who can put yourselves in the shoes of me and my husband, understand that the Enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy. He lies, and he wants those wounds to identify you. You find your identity as a Child of God, made in His image, with a purpose and for a purpose.
Remember Who you are, and Whose you are. (From the lovely Kim Kyle, I believe!)
Love you dear ones.