Mon., March 28: The walking wounded

by Derek Baker

Lenten Devotional 2011I have learned more about wound care in the last several months than I ever wanted to know.

Among the things I’ve learned: sometime in the last few decades, surgeons realized that sewing up all their incisions didn’t always work out. For one thing, it can make it tougher to treat infection and can even increase the odds infection will occur. So when they can, they now leave a wound open so that it heals "from the inside out." And there’s a metaphor there for what ails us generally, I think.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a woman hemorrhaging for a dozen years. Given the way the lesson reads, by reaching out to Jesus’ cloak, she had perhaps "healed herself." Her faith, after all, had made her well — after having spent all that she had with physicians and was no better, but rather grew worse. Perhaps we could say it was God’s grace that healed her, as she "let go and let God." Too many clichés seem to occur for such an occasion — to the point where they may be less clichés than actual truisms.

"From the inside out." That’s the kind of healing I need to go through this Lent. From the inside — inside my soul, inside my body, inside my mind and inside all other things I might call "insidious" — out to my work, my commitments and my relationships.

Genesis 44:18-34
Psalms 80, 77, 79
1 Corinthians 7:25-31
Mark 5:21-43