Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Feel Me Better"

Jack has this thing he says when he as a "boo-boo,” or when something’s just not right.

He needs medicine to “feel him better,” or a good night’s rest will help “feel him better” for being so tired.

It’s cute.

He’s four, what are you going to do?

As it was with Andrew and Christopher, so it is with Jack, the language of their childhood matriculates into the common language of our household.

Our family's vocabulary is full of phrases here and there sprinkled across our lives together.
Invariably, when one of these little phrases or names is spoken, as if we are somehow conditioned to do it, Kristy and I will try to remember from which kid it originally came.

The older you get, the older the kids get, unless you have a family scribe to document each and every one of these little nuggets, it's harder and harder to correctly attribute their contribution to the family lexicon.

But we know it's from one of them.

It’s a language that no one else would quite get if they observed us in our element. They would wonder, “What sort of ignorant parents teach their children to talk this way?”

Truth is - they’re the ones who have taught the language to us.

Well, as it relates to Jackie and “feel me better,” he has this fascination with Band-Aids for his “boo-boos.” And darned those Band-Aid marketing geniuses who figure if they put favorite children’s characters on their product, kids will more readily use them for their “boo-boos.”

And they were right.

Jack loves his Backyardigans Band-Aids. In fact, he is glad to have one put on him, and an actual “boo-boo” is not even required. We’ll get the song and dance about how his “boo-boo” which he’ll show us (there’s nothing there), needs a Backyardigans Band-Aid to “feel him better.”

When we assure him that there is no “boo-boo” to cover, the fit he throws to convince us there is puts me in the mind of Bill Cosby’s household routine in which he recalls, as he’s raising kids, that parents are not interested in what is right, or justice, parents are only interested in "quiet.”

Amen, brother.

When we put a band-aid on, he becomes a new man.

When he actually has a "boo-boo," the therapeutic value of that little strip is darned near miraculous.

After awhile, we assure him that whatever wound he has will only really get better uncovered to let the air get to it.

He's resistant - but ultimately agrees.

So therefore, we have to put a Band-Aid on his newly found make believe "boo-boo" instead so that it will "feel him better."

It occurs to me that people of faith are too quick to band-aid their spiritual wounds with things that seem to have benefit - but find in time that the like the real band-aid, if the wound isn't cleaned it will hold in the contaminants prompting infection rather than protect the wound from them.

But in the open air, the wind, the Spirit, the Breath of God, we are made whole.

What is it the prophet said?

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. Isaiah 53

When my body is sick and when my wounds are deep, I need medical care and intervention. The same can be said of the wounds of my soul that can run so deep it threatens to infect the very essence of my being.

I need Jesus, the Wounded Healer, and the fresh winds of the Spirit.

I need the community of companions Jesus has called to hold me, love me and create an atmosphere of grace to "feel me better."

That's who we are.

No comments: