Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13
My son woke up the other day with a bloody nose. If I hadn’t been fully awake when I saw him for the first time, I probably would have gone into full blown panic mode. He had blood all over his face, neck, hands and his bed. It isn’t the first time I have been greeted with this sight in the morning. I knew enough to stay calm. I also knew enough to check where the blood stopped – then I’d know where it originated from. It clearly was coming from his nose. So, like the good mom I am, I snapped a picture of this hot mess of a kiddo and then gently washed him off. I was thankful it was not any worse than a surface level problem.
It reminded me today how this is very unlike the girls we have living at the house. Sometimes the surface level stuff is pretty packaging that they are trying really hard to hold together so we don’t see any cracks. Other times the surface level stuff is still pretty obvious and varies in degree of severity – self harm, drunkenness, disrespect, and other inappropriate behaviors.
We fight two battles daily at Harvest House. One is against the surface level issues. No, you can’t be drunk. No, you can’t speak to me like that. No, you can’t hurt yourself! The other is against the underlying issues – where the wound is. So many times a surface level behavioral issue is simply a symptom of a deep hurt that is festering. It can be really hard to see past those basic issues to fight against infection in the deeper ones.
Pray for these girls. Pray they would have the courage to expose and clean up those wounds. Pray they would have SAFE people walking alongside them, pointing them to the Lord so they can heal. Pray we don’t get caught up in “correct behavior” that we miss the deeper issues of the heart.