I am broken but functionally healed. I learned this truth via the dog, Kalee, my family adopted yesterday. You see, she had traumatic injury to her pelvic area. This made one leg move noticeably forward. It made her spine curve. And, according to the vet, “It’s a wonder she’s walking and pooping.”
If you saw her x-ray, your heart would break for her because she OBVIOUSLY received no treatment for this seemingly devastating trauma. No, she endured the pain, and healed, alone. She was broken and yet, her body and sheer will to live allowed her to be functionally healed. As the vet said, “She’s a miracle dog.” She’s my miracle dog and I am certain she was a lesson (and gift) from God.
While she walks and jumps and runs, she’s also been plagued by problems with her heart. She has heartworms. Her body is functionally healed, it will never be “normal” or “right,” but it functions. Her heart still needs to be healed. And she’s on a scheduled process to achieve that healing, something so many of us need to pursue as well.
I function, I do all the things I am supposed to do in life because I have been functionally healed. Scar tissue has enabled me to keep on keeping on, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever be “normal” or “right.” My heart still needs significant amounts of work, of healing, cleansing, and purifying. As does hers.
I never thought a dog would teach me so much in such a short period of time. Even still, I told someone, “I wanted a tough dog. She’s not tough. She’s just sweet.” But later, as I thought about it, and I thought about what she has endured over this short one year of her life, I realized just how strong she is. And then I realized that she didn’t have to look tough, or be intense, to prove her strength. Her story proves that for her.
As I write a book I feel I’ve been called all along to write, I know that it will change me. And, one of the biggest fears in that change, is that I will no longer seem/appear/look/feel tough. No, indeed that heart healing and cleansing will make me sweet, tender, vulnerable, trusting, much like Kalee. And that’s something I have avoided for more years than you are ready to consider. Probably more than I am ready to admit here.
Yet, here’s this dog, potentially hit by a car or brutally beaten, sustaining insane pelvic fractures that should have left her completely disabled, hopping around licking and loving me and my children. No, I’m not going to lick you, but I do intend to love you better.
And as our hearts heal, maybe we’ll discover that being sweet doesn’t make us wusses. Our stories prove our strength, and our hearts have the power to heal others. That’s probably why God puts so much focus on the condition of the heart. It’s time we pursued His design for our hearts and that means true healing, not just the functional kind. Feel free to join Kalee and I on this heart healing journey.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26
You can read more verses about the heart here.
**Featured image by Jeffrey.