This story begins with some children playing. All was as it should be, that is: just a bit exuberant, just a bit frenetic, just a bit noisy.
OK, maybe it really exuberant, really frenetic, and really noisy. But that’s as it should be.
The ball they were tossing about and chasing sailed right over the head of one boy, who went pelting along after it. He ran so fast that his feet started to run away with him, or perhaps he ran faster than his feet. You know how it is: you suddenly realize that you can’t step out far enough ahead of yourself to stay on your feet.
And sure enough, down he went, splat on the ground.
And of course, the place his knee came down was the place where the rock was. Of course. It always is, isn’t it?
So he got up with some sounds that might have been sobs, and looked down at the dirt and the leaves and the red liquid oozing there. He walked off home with a limp and a groan, and there might have been a tear or three on his face.
When he got home, he found Mom and Dad there, and they did the things that parents do for a child with a skinned knee. They washed it off (and that stung), and they put ointment on it (and that stung), and they put a bandage on it, which didn’t sting, but didn’t actually make him feel a lot better.
What really concerned him was the thought that it might not get better. Even though he’d seen it washed off, and even though he’d seen it the ointment go on, he was sure that underneath the bandage it was dirty and ugly and bleeding. So he’d try to look under the bandage, lifting up just a little, but all he could see underneath was in shadow. It was just dark.
Until the day when the bandage came off. Imagine his surprise when he saw that it wasn’t all dirty and bleeding. New skin was growing where the scrapes had been, there was no sign of bleeding, and the redness was fading away. Over the next days he watched in wonder as the new skin grew, until there was no sign his knee had ever hit that rock.
Sometimes, healing happens where we just can’t see it. Sometimes, it happens where we can. God made us so that things do get better, most of the time. And even then, I think God heals us in ways we just won’t see until God’s finger points it out.