Bactine and Band-Aids

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable only, but to make us comforters. ~ John Henry Jowett

The house I grew up in had a big wrap around porch. I loved that porch. I loved the big swing, I loved the secret side escape route. I especially loved the front steps. There were only 3 but they were deep and wide.

The summer just before I turned 4, I was determined to jump up the steps. Jumping down was easy. A baby could do that. I wanted to go the other direction. I tried over and over and over. I didn’t want to jump 1…2…3.          I wanted to jump all 3 at once. I always fell.

If the scrapes were especially deep, my Mom would get out the dreaded Iodine. She would apply it to my wounds and blow softly until the sting went away.

But most of the time, my knees and elbows, which were in constant flux between scabbing and bleeding, could be patched up with Bactine and Band-Aids. I can’t remember if I finally conquered the steps that summer or if I lost interest or if I grew taller. What I do remember is the smell of Bactine and my mother’s tender care.

I don’t think she ever said: Debbie Lynn, how many times are you going to do that before you learn your lesson? She just held me and comforted me and doctored my hurting parts. I caused my own pain, yet she was unfailingly compassionate.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt compelled to jump up the steps. When I fall now, it’s my Father that I run to. He tenderly cleans me up and comforts me. Just like my Mom, He’s never withheld His compassion because I’ve caused my own problems or because I keep making the same mistakes.

How often have I heard or even thought:Well, he brought it on himself. Probably true. Does that matter? How often have I refused to forgive myself what God has already forgiven because it was my own fault?

There’s a whole lot of pain in this world. Some of it happens to us, but much we cause ourselves. God comforts me with His mercy and patches me up with His grace, regardless. As I accept that, not only am I comforted, but I become a much more compassionate comforter.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

31 thoughts on “Bactine and Band-Aids”

    1. Hello dear Caddo –
      Finally I have a window of internet (although it’s gone from 3 to 2 to 1 bar in the past hour). I was stubborn. My Mom was amazing. She was virtually never angry and when she was, it broke my heart (like the time she caught me sticking my tongue out at her). I also received a serious spanking!
      But when I fell down, she always picked me up.
      (something I wish I could go back in time and give to you)

      1. bactine and bandaids weren’t a way to patch us up so we wouldn’t get hurt again…..they were a way for to get back out there! 🙂

  1. Debbie, when I saw that house I thought it looked very similar to my grandma’s house. I’ll have to send you a picture. From that angle, it was so eerie. I loved my grandma’s house. She had a supply of iodine and band aids for me and my brother as well. Your words were comforting as well. We get comforted so we can comfort others. Thanks for sharing and I’m going to go look for that picture of my grandma’s house and send it to you. God bless, and thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello Steven!
      Thank you for sending the photo! How fun!
      I’m very fond of Jowett’s quote because he includes both need to be comforted and our call to comfort others.
      “God does not comfort us to make us comfortable ONLY, but to make us comforters.”
      Both are so important – and it seems easy to neglect on aspect or the other.
      Thanks for sharing with me here!

  2. I’m late! I’m forgiven 😉

    I take it the house was a proper white, wrap-around, porch style? I know about that “blue hue”. I get that on my sketches sometimes (when i use white paper) … in that case it looks sort of cool.

    Now for content of the post. I love this. I especially like the steps thingy. Yes, that’s right … trying to “take 3” like a big girl … not just jump from the top and land on the ground. JEESH, anyone can do that!

    I found wonderful sources of bactine and bandaids outside the family. It took a long time to realize that I needed to do that. And now … i’m on that great quest for GRACE!

    I still find myself thinking about my mistakes, faults or problems … and/or perhaps the beggar on the street who “got themselves into that mess” … but I am more ‘one of the masses’ and i think i’m giving all God’s creatures a few passes. Life is tough: Grace is sought. XO

    1. Sweet Mel –
      Grace is sought and from it’s True Source, always given.
      Sadly, not always from the rest of us.
      I’m honored to have you join me on the “quest for Grace”!

      The house was green with a darker green trim.
      I think my Dad got the paint on sale. It was the only green house in town.
      I loved it (which given my age, tells you something)! It was like two of my favorite crayons from my Crayola box!
      I took my daughter was 17, i took her back to see where I grew up and they’d painted it the house blue.
      I don’t have any pictures in the computer from 1960 that show the front steps so had to use this one. 😉

      1. Oh my gosh Deb! My childhood house was sort of light teal … however i
        always thought … Daddy is crazy! Why does our house look so silly?

        Oh, and rereading my post … i meant that i was giving myself a few passes on my imperfections too … not just ALL THOSE OTHER faulty humans 😉 xo

  3. This one made me cry, gracious one. I’m so so glad your mom just comforted you . . .just tried to make it better. Aub needs me to just comfort her a lot, no matter what. And she uses bactine too. I think God sent me this to encourage me when I feel all out of comfort. He’s got more for me. love you and loved this post. How do you keep coming up with these??? God bless you!

    1. Debbie –
      You have such a sweet, tender heart.
      You’re in the role of a comforter much more than anyone else I know.
      I pray for you often, that you’ll receive comfort as you so generously give it.
      Praying Thursday prayers for you and Aub.

  4. It is far easier to cast blame and accuse then to simply comfort. Sometimes we use accusations or unforgiveness as a way to shield ourselves from the need to give comfort. It is much less messy to avoid a situation then to understand and comfort.
    Thank you as always for wise words Debbie.

    1. Oh, too true Greg.
      That’s an interesting angle – using accusations or forgiveness to avoid being compassionate. I hadn’t thought of it quite like that. I like it. I’m gong to think on it some more.
      Thank you for you kind words and steadfast encouragement!

  5. It is so easy to forget the role of comforter and to be comforted. Many times I just go around and think “I can handle this”. I’m sure God is totally amazed that I am so accomplished :)!

  6. Your posts are so powerful Deb. I am constantly turned back to the grace of God by them and the voice of compassion is so necessary to hear in a world full of pain and hardness. I am so glad I serve a Father who has unlimited compassion to share even when grace is beyond the limits of this particular vessel.

    1. Pastor J –
      Thank you, my friend.
      “I am so glad I serve a Father who has unlimited compassion to share even when grace is beyond the limits of this particular vessel.”
      I love that! You may find yourself in my opening quote one of these days! 😀

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