Why do we do this? When we were kids, we'd peek under the band-aid until it fell off, then pry up the edge of the crusted blood. It hurt hurt hurt, but for some reason we just had to look.
I was on Facebook today, and decided to look over the list of folks Facebook thought would be good friends for me. I was very surprised to see the name of a person with whom we'd had a significant disagreement this past summer. It wasn't your normal relationship thing, either. There were very serious allegations involved, and the outcome was the splitting of a beautiful group of people and a lot of very hurtful finger-pointing.
So did I scroll past the suggestion? Did I close the page? Did I shut down my browser and find something else to do? Of course not. I clicked on the name.
Despite only recently joining Facebook, this person had hundreds of friends. Of the top few, several were former friends of ours who'd judged us, harshly, based on accusations that were fabricated to sway opinion. These former friends never even sought our side of the story - just cut us off.
This person had also set up a brand spankin' new website for the group that had so painfully been split. Naturally, pathetically, I followed the link to view the site. It was very welcoming. It warmly invited all who were interested to join (except those of us who'd been asked to leave, but of course that was not mentioned).
What happens when we pick at scabs? Well, our curiosity is sated. At what cost? Pain. Prolonged time for recovery. And, if we're not careful, infection. The wound now requires more time and attention to heal properly, and is more likely to leave a lasting scar.
Of course I realize that there is no way this wound was going to heal completely to begin with. The laceration was jagged, rough and deep. Those who would have offered aid and relief were the ones who caused the injury. And infection set in very quickly. (Should I admit that I derived a very tiny amount of pleasure from the grammar and spelling errors I saw on the website? Probably not.)
But there was no good reason for me to entertain my curiosity this way. I might just as well have poured salt right into that gaping gash. And not the good, "salt of the earth" kind of salt, either.
So why do we do this? I have no answer. I'd love to be able to say it filled my heart with forgiveness and love toward the people who hurt us. I'd love to say that I wished them well with their new group and rejoiced that they seem to be off to a good start. I'd love to, but I'd be lying.
Time for a fresh band-aid. Maybe some antibiotic ointment - I'll find it in prayer. And maybe my Father will hold me again, despite my foolish picking, and reassure me that it will be all right.