I fought the good fight.
It must be some guaranteed stage of child development: The Band-Aid stage.
It’s that season when kids believe in the magic of the Band-Aid to insta-heal all bumps, bruises, minor aches, pains, and scratches.
I have endured tantrums.
I have given speeches: You don’t need a Band-Aid for any casualty that doesn’t involve an open wound and significant blood loss.
But really. Truly. As a mom, it’s easier just to pop that glorified sticker over the bruise and be done with it rather than arguing unsuccessfully with a two-year-old about proper Band-Aid usage.
Maybe it wasn’t even the Band-Aid my kids needed; I know this. Perhaps it was the acknowledgement: I see you hurting. I’m tending to this need. I’m not going to leave you here aching alone, wounds sore, pain throbbing.
This is, after all, why Mom-kisses on the tiniest of boo-boos are where the miracle cures begin. Because the love and attention and the simply doing something–anything– says, “I love you,” louder than any actual words.
This is the Mom-life and the life of nurses, care providers, teachers, grandmas, and true friends.
It’s saying, “I care about you,” and meaning it at night when it costs you sleep and during the day when it costs you patience.
It means never pouring a cup of tea or a soda and drinking it all down yourself. It means spending all day putting other people first and scheduling every moment of your life around the schedules of other people.
“Motherhood is the big-leagues of self-sacrifice.” That’s what Rachel Jankovic wrote.
And this is the sacrifice, she tells me, that God finds such a sweet-smelling aroma.
We worship Him as we lay ourselves down, offering our lives to others, burning up our selfishness on the altar.
And, after all, as a mom shouldn’t I be thankful that for now a Band-Aid is all it takes to soothe the pain?
Sadly, that won’t last.
This world pesters and pounds, and wounds aren’t always so superficial and easy-to-heal. Sometimes they dig deep. Sometimes they fester and infect; they spread and ache long after we’ve bandaged over them.
So our calling becomes this: loving others enough to care about the depth of the pain rather than just covering over it with an ineffective Band-Aid.
Sure, we could snatch that trusty box down from the cabinet shelf and toss a sticky bandage over a hurt. All better. Stop your crying. No need to fuss. Don’t you see the Band-Aid I’ve slapped on your skin?
This is what Queen Esther did, unknowingly, of course. She heard of her cousin Mordecai’s distress. How he had torn apart his clothes and now sat at the city gate, covered over with burlap and ashes, wailing with loud bitterness.
She responded with concern, but without listening and understanding. Yes, she essentially snatched down the box of Band-Aids and sent one his way:
“She sent clothes for Mordecai to wear so he could take off his sackcloth, but he did not accept them” (Esther 4:4 HCSB).
That’s what she thought would help, just superficial care. Change your clothes. Stop that mourning, Mordecai, and everything will be well.
But he needed so much more.
He needed her to put her life on the line for her entire people by interceding with the king. Mordecai needed self-sacrifice, unselfishness, and humility. A change of clothes simply wasn’t enough.
When we love, we also need to take the time, to make the time, to thrust our hands into a hemorrhaging wound, if necessary, and become a right bloody mess in order to stop the bleeding out.
Jesus did this
He didn’t leave us desperately sick and dying. If he had only healed some physical hurts, if he had simply taught some important truths, if he had solely righted a few social injustices, he would have given Band-Aid care for a terminal disease.
Yet, Jesus did more, sacrificing His life for ours, because he knew we needed radical intervention to save our dying selves.
And then He asks us to live this life of love:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34 NIV).
Loving with Band-Aids some days. Loving with time and attention on others. Loving with messy healing and laying ourselves down at times.
But loving like Jesus always.
Happy Mother’s Day, National Nurses Week, and Teacher Appreciation Week to all of you!!!
Thank you for all your care and sacrifice for others.
Originally published May 10, 2013
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2015 Heather King