Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Following up the last post -- I heard an interesting speaker not long ago who talked about how Christians need to be more transparent about their wounds. He acknowledged how difficult it is to share something that's hurt you, especially if it's a situation where your own actions led to the hurt -- mistakes you made, failures, addictions are not fun things to talk about.

But consider the alternative. So often we hide our hurts and camouflage our wounds. We paste on a smiley face and answer "Fine!" when anyone asks how we're doing. Sometimes we even hide our woundedness from ourselves. We skim along on the surface, not realizing that we are mortally wounded, not letting anyone else into the deeper corners of our existence.

There's a subtle -- and not-so-subtle -- social pressure that encourages this behavior. We glorify the people who seem to have it together. We look at the ones who aren't visibly hurting, who are successful, who seem to be living victoriously over all life's circumstances, and we think that they way to be like them is to shellac the surface of our lives so everything at least looks shiny and new, even if there may be dry rot under the surface. We fill our lives with images of what we think are the beautiful people, and because living with wounds is unpleasant, we assume that being "beautiful" means they're not wounded. We willfully ignore the stories we've heard time and again of the deep brokenness in the lives of those who carry this "beautiful" image. Remember Marilyn Monroe? Remember all those like her who have made their image their stock in trade, but who deep down writhe in pain, almost unable to function. We invest so much in imitating these images. What if we invested as much effort in dealing with our wounds? What if we paid as much attention to our character as to our faces?

The way of Jesus is different. Those who follow him must learn to follow his example. Remember after Jesus was raised from the dead, when he appeared to the disciples but Thomas wasn't there? When Thomas heard about it, he said, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." So when Jesus showed up again, and Thomas was there, Jesus said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." (See John 20.) Jesus invites Thomas into his wounds. Jesus shows off the scars, invites Thomas to touch the places of woundedness. It is through Jesus sharing his wounds that Thomas is healed.

Are you willing to talk to Jesus about your hurts? Are you willing to let him into those places to make changes? Are you willing to allow another person -- someone who knows Jesus, someone God's Spirit guides you to -- to know those wounds as well? What you may find surprising is that as you allow Jesus into those wounds, he brings healing -- and then, not in the middle of your misery but as he brings healing, those old scars become the touch point that allows you to have an impact in the lives of others.

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