This content is part of a series.
Forgiving Ourselves (6 of 7)
Series: The Freedom Of Forgiveness
Message Truth: While many believers understand that our sin is forgiven in the substitutionary work of Christ, and that we forgive others because Christ has forgiven us, many are unable to forgive themselves. Forgiveness is never complete until we have experienced the forgiveness of God, we can forgive others who have wronged us, and we are able to forgive ourselves.
Introduction: In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey write:
Amputees often experience some sensation of a phantom limb. Somewhere, locked in their brains, a memory lingers of the nonexistent hand or leg. Invisible toes curl, imaginary hands grasp things, a "leg" feels so sturdy a patient may try to stand on it.
For a few, the experience includes pain. Doctors watch helplessly, for the part of the body screaming for attention does not exist.
One such patient was my medical school administrator, Mr. Barwick, who had a serious and painful circulation problem in his leg but refused to allow the recommended amputation.
As the pain grew worse, Barwick grew bitter.
"I hate it! I hate it!" he would mutter about the leg. At last he relented and told the doctor, :I can't stand it anymore. I'm through with that leg. Take it off." Surgery was scheduled immediately.
Before the operation, however, Barwick asked the doctor, "What do you do with legs after they're removed?"
"We may take a biopsy or explore them a bit, but afterwards we incinerate them," the doctor replied.
Barwick proceeded with a bizarre request: "I would like you to preserve my leg in a pickling jar. I will install it on my mantle shelf. Then, as I sit in my armchair, I will taunt that leg, 'Hah! You can't hurt me anymore!' "
Ultimately, he got his wish. But the despised leg had the last laugh.
Barwick suffered phantom limb pain of the worst degree. The wound healed, but he could feel the ...
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