This morning I discovered a blood blister on my thumb. I’m not quite sure how that happened. I was working with tile and a glue gun yesterday but I don’t recall pinching or hitting my thumb. Huh, odd. It got me started thinking about how we all end up with random bruises – some we recall how they occurred and some are just a mystery. My mind jumped from physical bruises to emotional bruises.
I don’t think many emotional bruises are mysteries. We’re usually quite aware when someone has said or done something that hurts us – no matter how minor. I don’t think that’s the only time we incur bruises though. I think we also bruise ourselves when we do or say something that hurts someone else. I have a couple of those bruises. For me those types not only hurt but they break my heart. I beat myself up over those. How could I have been so insensitive? Why did I hurt someone I call my friend? A sincere apology and graciousness from my friend will usually heal those bruises. Chocolate helps too.
I have a hard time with the bruises inflicted upon me. For years I kept people at bay for fear that they would hurt me. I wasn’t willing to take the risk of letting someone get close. I missed out on a lot during those years. The last three years or so have been a huge growing period for me. I tore down many walls and steeled myself for what I was sure was going to end up in heartbreak. Instead I found many loving people. I am surrounded by amazing friends.
And in a way I was right; there has been heartbreak. But not like I expected. It wasn’t heartbreak over a broken friendship. It’s more like a permanent bruise. I miss my friends and it hurts. Over time that hurt will fade but when I think of them there will always be that faint pang of longing. I’ll gladly carry those bruises. It was worth tearing down the walls and risking friendship.
On our last Sunday in Phoenix our Pastor said something that has stuck with me. Regarding saying good bye he said, “When there is strong emotion then we know there has been true relationships.”