Here’s a story that doesn’t involve boats.  My girlfriend (same one whose kayak was hard-stuck in the rapids in our last story) hasn’t been feeling great lately.  She told her hubby, who was trying to tease her into perking up, “You need to succor me.” Hubby, never having heard that expression before, came to her later with some token of appeasement, and said, “I’m suturing you.”

This has been our river chuckle the past couple weeks, “I’m here to suture you.”

But really, chuckles aside, isn’t that what we’re all here to do? To suture each other?  “To bind up,” as it says in Isaiah 61:1, “the brokenhearted.” To tenderly mend ripped souls.

No doubt, you can succor someone from a distance.  Stick a stamp on a pretty card, and you’re done.

Aah, but to suture somebody…you have to lean in close.  You have to put your hands on them and probe until you are intimate with their deepest hurt. Breathe with them through their secret fear. Mingle your tears and blood while you search with them for healing.

To be a surgeon of the spirit might take some sweat.

It will definitely require being very intentional in your daily walk…an acute ear to hear the unspoken word…clear vision for clues that a heart is bleeding out.  Even a stranger might be in need of a stitch.

And I think it begins with you.  We tend to patch and darn our own torn places on the run, don’t we?  As long as our wounds don’t seep too badly, maybe nobody will notice we’re broken, right?  But there is a Healer, a Surgeon with His own scars, who knows all your boo-boos, who loves you tirelessly, who will suture you with the finest of stitches.  You just have to sit still before Him. You just have to relinquish the time for Him to un-darn your messes and sew you up, finally whole.  Be still with Him today.

Then tomorrow…put your hands on your loved ones.  Look into their eyes, listen intently.  Think of your lives together as beautiful embroidery, even if it looks like chaos now, and suture, ever so tenderly.  Try this for an entire day, even if that arrogant teenager deserves the razor of your tongue.  Especially when that grumpy spouse could use some unraveling.  Suture instead.

And the day after that?  Well, surgeon friend, there’s a whole waiting room just outside your door.