Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When the Burn Stings

While reaching in the oven this morning, I was met with the painful, sharp sensation of a burn on my wrist. I had inadvertently raised my wrist up too high while pulling out breakfast and bumped the metal rack above. Several thoughts ran through my mind....

"I feel rather silly.... why hadn't I paid more attention? I knew it was hot. I sure don't want to admit to Reagan that I did that...... "

These thoughts were quickly followed by the intense sting of a burn.

I grabbed some of the blue, aloe vera, burn gel from the refrigerator and applied a small amount to the burn. Immediately, the cold gel brought comfort and relief that spread and covered the searing sting.

As I sat nursing my wounds, the thought hit me that we all have been "burned" in ways other than the physical. Burns from broken promises, taunting lies, haunting failures and stabbing words carry every bit as much pain. These burns, too, are followed by an internal argument....

"Why did I trust them? How could I have gone there? I knew better than to believe.... "

Haven't we all been there at some point?

Where does our healing come? It comes from the Lord-the maker of heaven and earth. His healing also brings comfort, relief and long awaited peace- that spreads far within our soul until all discomfort is vanquished. Sometimes His healing is total and complete in one application of His grace and mercy. Sometimes, however, the pain returns as someone inadvertently "bumps" our weakness. His healing balm can be reapplied to our hurts and crushed dreams.... over and over.... as long as it takes to reach the complete healing we need. Just as my physical burn will take repeated applications of gel and time to heal.

I am so thankful for God's complete healing in previous "burns" in my life. I am thankful, too, for His peace and mercy that helps me to extend grace to those who are still in the midst of pain. We are not meant to suffer, but to simply recognize our need for the Great Healer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saying Goodbye.

I grew up in the small Texas town of Dublin. If you were to drive through the town, you might not think much of it. We had two stoplights, a Dairy Queen, Duncan drug store, and Johnson's store. It is really a "Mayberry" like town with loving, friendly people who are willing to work hard to make a living for their family. I was blessed to have it etched in the background of my childhood... true, real, rural upbringing.

Dublin has had two sources of great pride- our once a year St. Patrick's Day festivities and our Dublin Dr. Pepper bottling plant which produced the only pure cane sugar version of Dr. Pepper for over 100 years.

I have always loved Dr. Pepper and it is honestly the only soda that I would drink. My husband even had to commit to Dr. Pepper to seal the deal with me before we married... (you have to have your priorities right). It, however, has always been more than just a soda to me... it is part of my upbringing, my childhood, my core. Dublin Dr. Pepper was, for many of us, vital.... we didn't have the best parks, best movie theaters, tons of restaurants, countless shopping options, but we did have OUR Dr. Pepper. People would come from hours away just to get what we could have daily. Suddenly, we were honored and special to live in such a place. Even to this day, when I take a sweet sip of a Dublin Dr. Pepper.... ahhh.... I am home again.

On Wednesday, January 11, Dublin Dr. Pepper lost its court battle to expand its territory with a new licensing agreement with the Dr. Pepper Snapple group. Faced with increasing costs to produce the Dublin Dr. Pepper, the owners had to sell out and let it go. When I heard the news, I felt such a grief kin to losing a dear friend. Suddenly, a light of pride was gone and I could do nothing about it. You see, the Dr. Pepper Snapple group will gain a mere 1% of profit from this decision, but our town will lose so much more. It feels like such a punch in the gut for hard working, small- town Americans just trying to make ends meet. Even more than that, it crushes a town that just wanted to continue to hold on to its tradition and pride.

I will be praying for the 14 families that lost their jobs yesterday and for all of us that lost a part of ourselves when the last bottle clanged off the line yesterday. Goodbye, dear friend.