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Hurt Feelings

But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God and would wave his hand over the spot and cure the skin disease! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 2 Kings 5: 11-13

It is one thing to be gracious in defeat when you know you’ve been outplayed. It is another to bite your tongue when you feel that victory has been unjustly taken from you. The Four Loons were no flash in the pan, they had participated in over a dozen World Series of Birding, often finishing in the top ten. In 2013, they were down a couple of loons, so they let me fly with them. We had a very good day, good enough to top the table. We waited at the finish line long enough to see all the Level One teams scores get posted, and none beat ours. We went to bed winners. We woke up to the news that the board had conferred and agreed that the Youth Team that had seen more birds would be awarded the Urner Stone Cup, even though that was the trophy for winning our division, not theirs. Yes, when we were awarded the second place trophy, our smiles were forced. The struggle to be magnamous was real. Being on the winning team three years later, and lifting that cup that now has my name on it, went a long way to heal the hurt of that fateful year.

I’m remembering it this week as I ponder the difference between healing and curing. Physical illnesses can often be cured, but even when they aren’t, healing can occur. Healing has to do with adjusting to circumstances, accepting reality, finding ways to cope with difficulties.

Namaan is a classic example of someone who nearly missed out on a cure because he wasn’t willing to be healed. I can relate to Namaan’s injury, since it was to his pride. The story hints that emotional healing is more difficult than physical healing. Certainly, it is as important, possibly even moreso. These are lessons best learned in lesser consequential situations. When we can do that, we are better equipped when the big life-changing or life-threatening situations arise.

Prayer: Great Physician, even when we ask for cures, help us to heal. Amen.


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