I am no medical expert. It has come in very handy that I married a registered nurse. In our home Jan has had to deal with a variety of maladies, illnesses, and injuries, not to mention the subsequent crying, screaming, and demands to “kiss it and make it better” to which she usually responds, “Quit whining. You’re worse than the kids.”
But watching how she operates (no pun intended) in a situation where there is blood involved I have learned much. For instance, I have learned that there are three things that make open wounds dangerous. If cuts and gashes are not closed in time the results can be
- contamination, and/or
- the wounds becoming larger.
Open father wounds are dangerous for the same reasons. When we don’t experience “closure” to issues we have or had with our dads we can easily become “infected” with a host of harmful invaders—anger, depression, a sense of worthlessness, and addictive behaviors, just to name a few.
An interesting side note: Anyone with bad handwriting and an “M.D.” behind their name will tell you that more often than not it is infection that causes more long-term damage than the wound itself. Even the six-CD “How to Become a Professional Therapist” set sold on TV teaches that what we think is "the problem” is hardly ever "the problem.”
Unresolved issues with our dads can also lead to the contamination of our relationships with others. As a result of unhealthy interactions with our fathers, we may find it difficult, perhaps even impossible, to become truly intimate with anyone. We may be afraid of rejection. We may fear being abandoned. We may tend to expect the worst in most situations. We may keep people at arm’s length because of our inability to trust. We may carry inside us anger that erupts at the slightest provocation.
Take the issue of road rage for example. A driver takes offense at another driver resulting in screaming and hollering and cursing, punctuated by corresponding hand gestures. This behavior often results in altercations, assaults, and accidents.
So does this avalanche of anger really have to do with a poor schmuck in a Honda Civic who failed to turn on his blinker? Is it possible there is a more deserving target? Road rage could very well have more to do with care-less fathers than with careless drivers.
In addition to infecting us and contaminating others when we don’t seek to close our father wounds quickly there is a great risk of the wounds becoming larger, causing an even greater threat to our health and well being. Left unchecked, resentment and unforgiveness will continue to eat away at our insides, causing our condition to worsen.
The good news is healing can happen. No matter how deep our father wounds we can have complete hope of a full recovery. Healing is found in relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is our understanding of Him that will soothe our wounds. It is knowing His nature that will provide balm for our hurts. It is entering into an intimate relationship with Him that will allow us to experience the love and healing and grace He longs to give us.
No matter how deep our father wounds, in the care of our Heavenly Father our prognosis is excellent.