Time Heals Nothing
I am thinking today about healing and growth, two of the most beautiful things our world can know and, not coincidentally, two of the most painful.
I saw this clever illustration today and instead of appreciating it, everything in my gut wrenched and shouted,
“That’s not true!”
If you’ve heard it and believed it, you must know that it’s a lie.
Time does not heal all wounds.
Time does not heal any wounds.
That’s why people carry grudges to their graves. Why people spend thousands of dollars on therapy every year. Why bitterness and resentment and contempt kill marriages every day. Because time doesn’t do squat.
It can sometimes feel like time is the magical wound-eraser, but only because in time, the real healers can do their work. Consider:
Time doesn’t heal wounds; forgiveness heals wounds. And forgiveness takes time.
Time doesn’t heal wounds; perspective heals wounds. And perspective takes time.
Time doesn’t heal wounds; maturity and grace heal wounds. And maturity and grace take time.
Ultimately, time doesn’t heal wounds; Jesus heals wounds. And never, ever in my experience has Jesus tapped me with a magic wand and erased my emotion – my hurt – my humanness. He wouldn’t take that from us; it’s too valuable to our human experience. T0o crucial in our understanding of who He is: a God who loves, rejoices, weeps and hurts. What He has done – is heal me. He has worked forgiveness into my heart – into places so hurt and hardened that only He could do it. And it took time. He has carried me minute by minute, dispensing peace in the exact measure of my need, over time.
There is a great line from an early episode of House (which I’ve always loved because of the writers’ wit and fearlessness in discussing philosophical concepts). A patient named Eve tells Dr. House, “Time changes everything,” and House responds,
“That’s what people say; it’s not true. Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were.”
If you need healing, get busy. Get busy praying. Get busy crying, feeling, growing, forgiving, begging for grace.
Healing and growth are not instantaneous – none of the best things are. But neither are they guaranteed with time – none of the best things are.
So can we please stop perpetuating this lie of a proverb? Time doesn’t heal wounds; it doesn’t have that kind of power. But God does.