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The Loving Power of Bactine by Jeff Taylor, MAC LPC

I had found the perfect hiding place during a rather intense game of hide and seek. At the age of seven, this involved a lot of thought and strategy, to find the exact right spot where no one would look. My ideal location was adjacent to a large bush, that although obvious to anyone was also big enough, that when in the right spot you could not be seen. As I stood there almost holding my breath, making sure to make no noise, my peace was disrupted by my friend Mike (a Ritalin free ADD neighbor) that had spotted my perfect hiding place and in a rather loud voice said, “Move over” as he pushed me further into the bush.

It was at this point, a word I knew took on an entirely new meaning.


This lush green shrub was covered in rather large thistles. As Mike stayed in the location, I limped off to a well-known first aid station in the house. I was hobbling, not so much from the pain but from the belief that this is what one did when wounded in the leg.

As I entered the house, I yelled out like a soldier hit in battle,

“I’m hurt!”

Mom came from around the corner and made the normal statement she always did in these moments of the aftermath of combat,

“Let’s take a look.”

She quickly assessed the situation and informed me in a calm voice,

“This isn’t bad, let's get you fixed up.”

At which point she did what she always did, hoisted me onto the kitchen counter. She cleaned the wound and removed the rather small thorn (although it will always be bigger in my mind) and reached for the familiar red and green bottle of Bactine.

For some reason each time this ritual was performed I felt the need to ask the same question,

“Will it hurt?!”

To which she gave the familiar response.

“Only a little.”

Then the band-aid was applied, the kiss given (all important parts of the first aid process) and within minutes I was back in the thick of battle.

It’s important to understand that these moments are quite significant. They heal not just the wounds of the battles of hide and seek, but they mend the wounds of the heart. I knew that each time I needed my warfare wounds attended to that they would be, not dismissed or disregarded.

The healing power of Bactine is the experience of being valued in the context of the pain. It reminds us that we matter, and that wounds both physical and emotional are important.

We all need Bactine moments. These are the encounters of life where we are reminded that we are not alone. When someone walks with us. When they assess our wounds, and apply the correct band-aid. When they encourage us to get back in the battle of life.

Are you noticing the Bactine needs of those around you?

Some of these moments might seem small and we can easily miss them. They might just start with a simple question,

“Hey, are you okay?”

And when they say, “I’m fine” (it’s just a small thorn don’t worry about me).

Ignore it and ask, “What do you need?”

Remind yourself you have a lot of Bactine to give.

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