September 23, 2021
Five years ago, I went to the Philippine Orthopedic Center to get the lab results I needed for my knee surgery. When I informed my mother, she asked me to brace myself for what I was about to see.
I thought to myself: Could it really be that heartbreaking?
When I went there, my mother was right to warn me because the scenarios I witnessed were indeed heartbreaking.
I saw people with different bone injuries lining up and waiting to be checked by the doctor. People on wheelchairs, crutches, and hospital beds are what’s common around the place. If you see a person walking on two feet, it’s probably because they work there or they are relatives of a patient. The summer heat gave the hallway an unpleasant scent.
While I was looking for my doctor’s room, I couldn’t help but look at the people falling in line—some had fallen asleep, some had blank stares, some looked grumpy and worried, and many other faces were marked by suffering or a desperation to be healed.
That place which was full of people with broken bones reminded me of the brokenness of this world, or at least, the “world” nearest to me. Bones have the ability to self-heal, and I wish I could say the same about our own inner brokenness. While spiritual healing happens inside of us, our cure is found somewhere else.
We are all in a state of spiritual brokenness that no “human surgery” can heal. While recent methods and techniques in treating the human soul are very helpful, we know that we are broken beyond what our mind can fully comprehend.
This offends me to the core because it means that no amount of human effort can ever “heal” me completely. This includes all efforts, good and well-meaning efforts. Sometimes, or should I say most of the time, we tend to “operate” on ourselves whenever our brokenness arises. This “operation” is any attempt to “fix” ourselves. Every time a certain situation or concern brings out my character flaws—whether that’s incompetence, rudeness, arrogance, or so on—I realize that my behavior is just a reflection of my profound brokenness.
I can choose to change my behavior, but my brokenness will still be there, which makes me even more frustrated, for I cannot change my own heart.
This means that I need more than just human intervention. I need divine intervention.
Thankfully, my brokenness is not the end of the story. My broken state is temporary, a place from which I will eventually experience wholeness by grace through faith.
Wholeness can only be experienced by being totally dependent on God. Any attempt to step away from this truth is a step away from a full life that can only be found in God.
Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
This is the hope for the broken: Our brokenness is not eternal. The day of binding will come.
Our healing has a perfect timing. Some people experience instant healing but for most people, like us, it will take more time.
Just because other people experienced healing quicker than us doesn’t mean that God has forgotten us. One of the many things I learned from my personal hurts is that God’s healing and timing are different for each of us. Since He made us personally, He wants to heal us personally.
God’s healing is thorough, and He knows the kind of healing and the perfect process to administer healing to each of us.
Sometimes, God allows people to experience healing here on earth. But ultimately, perfect healing is fully and eternally experienced in His presence—in the kingdom of the God of all healing and comfort.
God is not surprised with our brokenness. He knows it well.
Doctors may try their best to remain calm while checking their patients’ condition, but sometimes, they still get surprised when the diagnosis is too severe.
But God isn’t surprised by the severity of our brokenness. He isn’t surprised about how broken we are. He is not surprised about the moments we fail and fall. When He saw our brokenness, He didn’t say: How did you get there? What happened? How did you end up in that situation?
But also, He doesn’t snicker and say, “You deserve it!”
How is this supposed to comfort me?
The Person who knows everything about us—our failures, our tendencies, our depravity, our brokenness—is the same Person who gave His everything to win us back.
Honestly, I think my reaction to a person who caused me pain and hurt is to distance myself from that person. Our normal reaction to a person who hurt us is not love but hate.
Jesus isn’t like that.
Our comfort is found in the truth that God, who knows everything about us exhaustively, loves us perfectly.
As I left the Philippine Orthopedic Center, I knew in my heart that these people needed more than a doctor who could diagnose their condition or a surgeon who can operate on broken bones. They need a Savior. We all do.
We can have the latest technology to heal broken bones, but no technology can ever replace the power of the gospel to save and restore broken lives. May we always remember that we can only experience profound healing for our souls when we trust and depend on Christ.