My son and I often bond over the National Geographic channel, particularly the veterinarian shows. One of our favorites is Heartland Docs, a husband and wife team of vets in northeast Nebraska.
During a recent show, Doctors Erin and Ben answered an emergency call from a horse breeder. One of his prize quarter horses, Lucky, cut his foreleg in a freak accident. The tendons were cut in two places. Lucky could barely stand and bowed his head, as if anticipating his fate.
The prognosis was critical. The options were few:
>Surgery at a renowned clinic with months of rehab, but the level of infection might kill Lucky before they could begin.
>Saying good-bye and putting Lucky down.
The horse breeder said, “I just can’t give up on him. Could we try to treat it here and see if he can heal?”
The docs were skeptical but they, too, hated to end Lucky’s life. So they swabbed the wound, gave Lucky massive antibiotics and wrapped the leg in a cast.
Six weeks later, Erin and Ben returned to check on Lucky’s progress. They had little hope for a positive outcome.
But when they sawed off the cast, they saw how the tendons were healing. No infection. Still a guarded prognosis. They wrapped the leg again without a cast so Lucky would be forced to put more weight on it.
Four weeks later, they unwrapped the injured leg. Hair and scar tissue had grown over the wound. Lucky stood strong and solid. He would never return to the race track, but the owner’s daughter could ride and show him at the local 4-H fair.
Dr. Erin concluded the episode. “We couldn’t give up. Although it was a delicate situation, scars are often stronger than the initial tendons.”
Isn’t that the truth? Although we struggle through multiple precarious and traumatic situations, we can decide to never give up.
If we do what is necessary for healing, we may be surprised by the results.
But the scars we wear often become stronger than the initial area that was wounded. We can grow emotional tissue around our pain that helps it heal.
We can accept the bandages others offer us. We can work hard to train ourselves to run with grace again.
And we can let the scars be a witness to our strength-building.
In the end, we may run a different race, live a different life. But we can be strong, even more useful and a treasure to those around us.
Therein lies our hope: to never give up, to accept the pain, to build on our scars.
©2021 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
A group of women were strengthened by their scars, but no one knew. They were The Invisible Women of Genesis.