Patch job

Last week, holes suddenly appeared in the knees of three of Jackson’s jeans. Knowing our budget and his propensity for rough play, buying new pairs didn’t seem like the wisest decision. So, I decided I would patch them myself.

I scoured the aisles at Walmart, trying to find the best iron-on patch to extend the life of Jackson’s pants. I don’t sew, and don’t really want to acquire that particular skill, so I thought I would give the iron-on patches a shot.

Once home, I carefully cut circle-like shapes out of the jean fabric to cover the holes. Then, I cleared the cobwebs off the ironing board, since, like sewing, ironing is something I also try to avoid (which is why we are huge wrinkle-free fabric fans). I followed the directions, ironed on the patch, and wal-lah: pants without holes!

Thankfully Jackson thought his new jeans were “awesome” (that was his interpretation), and chose the next day to make their debut at preschool.

By evening, half the patch was already worn off.

Wanting to give it another try, I let Jackson put on another patch-y pant the next day. Those didn’t even last half the day before the patch began pulling back from the jeans.

Jackson's patch is already peeling and it hasn't even been on a day!

Those patched jeans have felt so much like my heart this last week.

For the last week, old wounds that I thought had healed seemed to have been opened again, just like the patch pulling from the fabric to expose the hole. These feelings were unprompted and unexpected, and I wasn’t sure exactly how to deal with them again.

In Matthew chapter 9 (as well as Mark 2 and Luke 5), Jesus told this parable:

No one patches an old garment with unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment and makes the tear worse. And no one puts new wine into wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.

I believe many of us have had feelings of pain, rejection, sorrow, grief or guilt that creep up on us well after that event happened. Maybe we have even asked for forgiveness or for healing, and Jesus has brought comfort and peace. Suddenly, the scab has been scraped off, and we are right back to that place of pain.

I wonder if sometimes when we experience severe wounds, Jesus temporarily patches that place in our hearts to begin the healing process to the point where we are physically, emotionally and spiritually ready for the needle of His love to sew together the pieces. The result still is ragged, but the process reinforces that there is nothing that can or will separate us from the love of Christ.

It is Jesus alone who will see us through the healing process, until we reach heaven and receive new glorious clothes of white, with no patches, whether ironed on or sewed tight.

I greatly rejoice in the Lord, I exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness, as a groom wears a turban and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

– Isaiah 61:10

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give Him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.

– Revelation 19:6b-8a

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