A doctor friend of mine said there’s an inside joke that “if you put two bones alone in a room together, they’ll find each other.” I heard this after breaking my left collarbone in the summer of 2011. Even when I was young, I wasn’t a great athlete, but I did always hustle. So after a decade of not doing much athletically, I joined my work softball league and thought at least I would try hard and have fun. But when I hit a weak ground ball to the shortstop and decided to “hustle,” disaster saw its opportunity. The fields we played on were poorly maintained, with holes where the hitters stand. Instead of doing the smart thing and stopping after I tripped in this hole, I tried to keep running (because hustle!) and soon ended up falling hard on my shoulder with a loud snapping sound. The picture above is my actual X-ray from that night.
This isn’t a great memory, but it’s also a reminder of the miracle of healing. I had the option of surgery or just letting it grow back together, and I chose letting it heal. However, it didn’t “just” get fixed. It was by design and no accident.
My collarbone was broken clean through, with the two sides of the bone not even touching any more. I could feel them moving around independently. When I think about the millions of “decisions” the cells in these bones, interacting with the tissue around them, had to make to do something they’ve never done before, I have to be convinced something beyond my own anatomy and genetic history was at work. An impersonal evolution may have never seen these bones break in just this way before, so how did the bones know what to do? I certainly wasn’t aware of telling these bones what to do. They didn’t “just” fix themselves.
I can only credit the creative power of my Maker, along with David, who wrote:
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-14
Miracles happen every single day in every human body, yet we often miss them or refuse to call them miracles. Maybe we do that because calling them miracles would mean we have to give credit to the power behind the miracle, and we’d rather not. Ever since Adam and Eve looked at God’s good creation and decided they’d rather make their own decisions, mankind has persisted in acting like bones that would rather grow apart than follow their Creator’s design. As a result, the world is broken into billions of personalities that don’t know how to connect, that don’t know how to knit agape love into the trillions of decisions they make, and interactions they have, each day.
We all have a choice in every moment: do we “just” do whatever we think is best and expect the right outcome to “just” happen, or do we look at nature and think that maybe the Person who knows how to make bones fix themselves knows how to guide our lives to the best outcome.
Our heavenly Father wants to knit us together once again, in a world that isn’t broken and where we aren’t broken. None of us are beyond repair, and our Maker will restore us if we let Him. Every human being in history has been bad at love, except One, and He is calling to every one of us to trust Him. “Just Do It” is not a good motto.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.” – Psalm 34:19-20
2 thoughts on “Broken, But Not Beyond Repair”
One day while having a light conversation with my family I commented that if we were visited by aliens they probably would have trouble believing that our food grows up out of the ground. Think about that. We can’t eat dirt but we have these little food factories called plants that change dirt and water and sunlight (which are all available in abundance and for free) into food for us, and this in incredible variety. This too is by God’s loving design.
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