Three weeks ago, Kira, my cat, broke her front leg. I don’t know how it happened. When I came home for lunch one day, she was hobbling around and crying. Although I considered letting it heal on its own, it was quite angulated at the fracture site. So, with the help of my friends at the hospital, she got a shiny new fiberglass cast. I was satisfied that her leg was straight and protected from further injury or the pain of being jarred accidently. She was not thrilled to have this heavy, awkward boot attached to her leg and weighing her down. She stumped around like a pirate on a peg leg but the weight prevented her from jumping up on her favorite chair. Within 24 hours, she had slipped her injured paw out of its purple prison and was happily washing it in her favorite chair again. But the effort of extracting her paw had angulated the fracture again and every time she was accidently bumped, she would cry out in pain.
Again, I considered letting her heal on her own, but it pained me to see her in this sad state, so I applied a smaller, lighter, tighter-fitting plaster cast. She had more mobility with the new cast, but she still didn’t like dragging along extra weight and was intent on removing the offending object. The next day, she disappeared for close to 24 hours, vowing not to return until she had removed the plaster cling-on. Afraid that she would be easy prey for the stray dogs that frequent our neighborhood, I searched desperately for her and finally gave up fearing the worst. But after a night out in the damp, her cast was soft enough for her to extract her paw and finally she returned home. Her leg was more crooked than ever, but finally I gave up and left her to heal on her own. Now, three weeks later, there is strong callus at the healing fracture site and she is running, jumping, and catching critters again with her crooked leg. Whenever I tell this story to my PNG friends, they laugh, first at my attempts to place a cast on my cat, but secondly at her “bikhet” (stubborn) ways. Then it struck me, how often have I stubbornly refused to be helped? I can think of several times in my own life when I was broken (emotionally or spiritually) and God tried to provide a support, but I blindly rejected it thinking it was a burden at the time. I preferred to suffer through on my own not realizing that someone who loved me and knew the situation far better than me was trying to ease my pain and help me heal. In my struggle against his loving arms, I likely caused myself more pain and distress than if I had just accepted the help. Who knows how many ugly subconscious scars I carry now because of my stubborn pride. Lord, help me to trust you and accept your correction and guidance in the midst of my brokenness. Amen.