I woke up this morning thinking about scar tissue. It’s not something I’ve given much thought to in my life. But this past summer made me aware of the potentially enormous impact of something we often can’t see and rarely think about.
Five years ago, my husband, Jack, had a total knee replacement surgery. It was inevitable, after a series of arthroscopic procedures, and he made the decision to go ahead. We had heard many stories of dramatic results and great success following this surgery, so Jack was looking forward to moving beyond the inherited difficulties he had endured with his right knee.
But something went wrong. We all expect pain following surgery and we expect therapy to be painful, but somehow the pain never went away. Four years after surgery, Jack was still icing his knee several times a day, his activity was limited and we had long since realized this pain was chronic.
He saw several surgeons and no one wanted to attempt a second surgery. Some were not willing to acknowledge that anything was wrong. But one day a casual acquaintance mentioned a renowned surgeon in another state who had been able to help his mother.
Jack got on the phone and made an appointment, and within a few weeks our family was on the way to Houston, with high hopes and some trepidation, for what they call a total knee replacement…revision.
Jack’s theory all along was that one of the artificial parts was the wrong size, or it was in the wrong place. But the tests in Houston indicated that some or all of the parts had simply come loose. Apparently, sometimes the adhesive used in surgery doesn’t hold. So they had all the parts they could possible need present in the OR—and the actual problem turned out to be something entirely different!
The surgeon came into the waiting room and told us he had removed lots and lots of scar tissue, including one massive band stretching from the meniscus to the patella! He told us that amount of scar tissue would cause a great deal of pain, and he had taken preventative measures to minimize the possibility of recurrence.
We could not believe it! All that misery from scar tissue? Jack descended one more time into the post-op suffering and the rigors of rehab. But he told me later that he knew as soon as he woke up that things had been made right. And a couple of days ago he said his knee hadn’t felt this good in ten years!
So this morning I woke up thinking about scar tissue, and how so many of us have lots and lots of it—massive bands wrapped around our hearts and our minds, and our souls…no one can see it, we try not to think about it, but it’s there. It is, of course, the cumulative result of a long series of bad choices, beginning with Eve’s and including our own. And it causes a great deal of chronic, even crippling, pain. We try lots of remedies that don’t work and many of them just make things worse.
Perhaps nothing’s wrong at all and we just need to get on with things. We might as well try if there’s no help. But maybe a friend or a casual acquaintance will remind us or tell us for the first time that there is a great Physician who says, “Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He was wounded for our transgressions…and by HIs stripes we are healed. We are healed of all the pain, visible and invisible, even the pain that results from our own sins! Yes, it is likely to feel worse before it gets better and the rehab can be fearsome. But this Physician promises to be with us for every session and that His grace will be enough. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And we can know for certain that things have finally been made right!
If we do actually fix our eyes on Him, He will finish the good work that only He can begin. The scar tissue can be removed and it doesn’t need to grow back! Is there some pain involved in surgery, even when it’s necessary? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!
7 years ago