Okay, so I had this rebellious mole surgically removed from my forehead last week, and now I get to wear a not-so-stylish bandage that covers half of my forehead for seven days. And the area around my eye is swollen.
It’s really not that bad. It could surely be much worse. The bandage fairly well matches my skin tone. My eye is not swollen shut. There’s no real bruising. And it’s temporary. My husband kindly says it’s hardly noticeable. But I notice it, and so do others. It’s there. And it’s different. And obvious.
It’s obvious enough that I notice people notice it. I can see them wondering what happened and whether they should mention it or not. It’s interesting. And I wonder if I should mention it or not. It’s not a big deal, but it’s there. And I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned here.
So here are my top 4 reasons to wear a big bandage on your face for a week:
- You will gain insight into what it’s like for people who have some kind of obvious physical disability or challenge. Again, mine is a very minor issue, but it has made me consider more how others feel who are disfigured or physically disabled. They deal with the looks and reactions of people constantly, while I am just passing through this territory ever so briefly. My heart goes out to them in a new way.
- You can feel what it’s like to be viewed differently. As a true-blooded introvert, I do not appreciate too much scrutiny, so this has been a test for me. I can see people paying extra attention, processing what they see, wondering if they should ask. It’s a bit uncomfortable.
- You will learn about yourself through your own response to others and how you choose to deal with it. You can announce it from the start or joke about it, putting the issue out in the open. Or you may prefer to talk about it only if someone asks. It’s up to you.
- You may discover a new hairstyle to better complement (or camouflage) your bandage. It occurred to me that I could hide most of the bandage if I chose to part my hair on the opposite side. Being a creature of habit and not really wanting to hide, I decided against this option. It is a possibility, though.
Perhaps my list does not persuade you to wear a big bandage on your face for a week. But hopefully it does help you consider what it must be like for individuals who daily deal with physical deformity or disability.
While I have always thought of myself as a pretty compassionate person, sympathetic to the feelings of others, this experience has been enlightening. I suppose I have moved from compassion to empathy by dealing with my relatively minor appearance issue.
I think the real takeaway here is the age-old revelation that some good can come from anything. There are lessons to learn, wisdom to gain, blessings to celebrate even in the difficult times.
I heard someone say once that nothing is wasted in God’s economy. So, yeah, I had a little surgery, looked a little bad, and wore a big bandage for a while. But I also gained some insight, some empathy, and some gratitude in the process. That’s not so bad after all.