How whole are you ?
That's a pretty straightforward question, am I right? but the truth is that on the outside we all look whole but when in reality we all have holes.
What are holes?
My mom used to tell me the following story when I was a kid: Once upon a time, there was a father and a son. When the son turned 5 years old the father gave his son a box of nails as a gift, the kid looking at the weird gift said -thanks dad! and tossed it aside without understanding the purpose of it. The kid started growing and with that, the rebellious side came out, he started lying to his father, having bad grades, behaving in ways he shouldn't and every time the kid would do something bad the father would go out to the backyard and come back after a few minutes.
One day after a huge fight with his father, he saw how again the father went to the backyard, which boiled his blood and following him, he notices that his father was visiting the tree they had in their garden. Getting a little closer he saw his father with the box of nails he got for his 5th birthday and grabbing one of them, he nailed it to the tree. To his surprise, the tree was full of nails. In his confusion, he asked - dad, what are you doing? his father said - son, those nails represent every bad thing you did, and the tree represents my heart. When the kid heard this, he heartfelt heavy and started to take out all the nails from the tree. To his surprise he still didn't felt good and asking his dad about it, he answered - well, you can take out all the nails but you can not erase the holes you made on the tree.
Holes are those things that people did to us that marked us, as the nails on the tree.
Maybe they asked for forgiveness but even if they did, you still feel the pain, the hurt, the betrayal, the abandonment.....you still have that hole. Sometimes is not even other people that left holes in our hearts but ourselves. When we know what we are supposed to do but we don't do it. When we know that we are supposed to live a "good Christian" life but our flesh only reminds us of all the sins we committed or we are still committing to these days.
Even the great Apostol Paul had holes, he himself tells us that, in Romans 7:19 -24.
For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
The Apostol Paul was a human being, he had holes and he was brave enough to recognize he had them, he even wrote it for everyone including you and me to know that he also struggles. So you can say, my father left me, I was bullied, someone abandoned me, someone broke me, I had a traumatic situation, I “ ___________” (fill the blank) those are holes, and when we don’t recognize that we do have them and instead we denied it, sooner or later they are going be obvious, exteriorizing themselves for everyone to see.
Because our holes build our exterior image.
To be honest
Besides Jesus, the perfect man, the one without sin, the one without holes, everyone else, has them. So what do we do with the holes?. Well, for starters we recognize that we have them. Just like the Apostol Paul, “a have a nail that had left holes”. Blessed are those who mourn because they shall be comforted. When we accept the pain and cry, then we will be able to receive consolation and healing. Paul recognized his holes and he called it weakness. Because of it, he experienced God’s grace. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
When we don't recognize that we have holes, we don't only continue to suffer and hurt the people around us but we are also not letting ourselves experience God’s grace. He is the one that fills up our holes with love and takes away our nails.
The Bible says that Jesus took our place. He, the one with no sin took our sin for us to be clean. Jesus let them the Romans make holes on him, let himself be nailed to the cross for us to be healed from our holes.
Not only that, Jesus made sure that when He resurrected to still had the holes from the nails for the disciples to see. Why did He do that? well, out of love, it's always out of love.
It's always out of love.
He knew that disciples would need to see the holes in His hands, feet, and side because their interior holes were not healed until they saw Jesus. Maybe you are like Thomas, and you said “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” There is good news, Jesus died for your holes and nails, He felt your pain and because He loves you, just like He loved Thomas He comes back and says “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”