The blessing of a skinned knee


A while ago, I set off on a run through my neighborhood. I only made it a block and a half before I tripped (quite dramatically) over a crack in the sidewalk and went flying. Isn’t it funny how time slows down in those moments? You move much faster than you usually do and you’re just about completely out of control, but time takes its sweet time. Hm. Anyway, I went flying. It was sort of like I was sliding into home plate but instead of a dirt field I had concrete beneath me and instead of a flat rubber pentagon…a tree. I’m not sure if I was “safe” because there was no one around to see it happen.

My first reaction was, “Oh gosh! I hope no one saw that!” which turned into, “Shoot! I hope someone saw that!” Not so much to rush to my aid, but to marvel at what a spectacular drama had just occurred. Or perhaps they would have felt tempted to laugh.

Well, I picked myself up and brushed off my hands, assessing the damage. I could see some streaks of dirt along my sleeve and pant leg and was feeling a bit shaken, but not too hurt. Perhaps I could keep running, I considered. But no, I thought better of it. And it’s just as well, because I came to find that I had a pretty badly scraped and bloody knee. And some impressive sidewalk burn along my forearm. How curious and fascinating that we sometimes don’t feel pain until we see that we should.

So I cleaned myself up and bandaged my knee and sat on the couch with a book and some tea.

And this got me thinking. I didn’t see the damage at first and couldn’t quite feel it properly. I almost did keep running. But no, I took care of myself, of my wound. I confronted the pain and acknowledged my limitation, my fragility. And how apt this simple lesson, especially for me, who likes to brush off any disappointment or dashed hope and soldier on as if unscathed.

My knee doesn’t hurt anymore. The scabs are gone. There may be scars, but that doesn’t bother me. I like scars. They bring stories. They’re signs of an abundant life, a life lived fully, with open arms and an open heart, able to be wounded in its shy vulnerability, but hoping, of course, for great love and affection.

I love that my fall brought light to matters of the heart. The more my heart is hurt and healed, the more love I can give and receive. And for that I am truly grateful.


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