One of the things most of us find stomach churning and revolting is the maggot. Finding them in your garbage bin is enough to make you puke, but imagine finding them on your body! In 1982 an orthopaedic surgeon by the name of John Church was asked to treat someone who had been in a car accident and lain unconscious for three days in a ditch at the side of the road. The victim had deep cuts to his face and body, and those wounds were crawling with massive infestations of maggots.

But here’s the amazing thing. When John Church peeled away those maggots to examine his patient he was astonished to discover that the wounds were so clean they had already begun to heal! In fact, this discovery led to a revival of the practise of maggot therapy.

You see as revolting as they may be, maggots can be agents of healing. Put them on a wound and they’ll eat up the diseased flesh but leave the healthy flesh alone. The bacteria they don’t eat they kill with a chemical they excrete. And to top it off when they crawl all over your wound they provide the healthy flesh with a gentle and therapeutic massage.

In fact, doctors have discovered that in many cases maggots are more effective than antibiotics!

Sometimes the circumstances in our life function like maggots. They may be very unpleasant, but they can also be healing. We speak of them as “character forming”. They cause us to identify what’s important in life, to develop endurance and perseverance, to depend more on God and others. And in doing so they eating away the rotting parts of our character and leaving behind healthy parts.

Source: Scientific information from Karl Kruszelnicki’s New Moments in Science #3.

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