I am constantly dealing with this as a pastor, but so are you as you live life with wounded people all around you. Most of us we are unaware of the wounds others have suffered, but we do see the results as they wound us. Some wounds go back to childhood and an abusive parent. Some come from peers in school as we heard the words "fatty" or "stupid" and never forgot them. Some wounds come from others thoughtlessness. They haunt us even today.
Others think they have dealt well with the wounds of the past, but often all they have done is put a band aid on a bullet hole. They haven't fixed the problem, they have just covered it up. The wounds of the past are lingering and even if we are able to heal we are all left with scars and memories. Wounded pasts make us defensive and in subtle ways twist our personalities.
So, how do we deal with the wounds? As I write this I'm thinking of a host of faces that are the walking wounded around me. Often they will tell you they are fine and smile, but they aren't. The wound has changed them and most don't know what to do to become normal again. Most have no idea any longer of what normal even looks like. We begin to resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Our wounds have made us into someone else.
So what do we do...the human race of wounded and hurting people? How do we find healing, restoration and forgiveness?
This, to be honest, is the issue we deal with the most in our lives...even if we don't realize it. These wounds are the things that keep us from growing in our faith. They hinder our walk with God. They hold us back, just as a wheel chair would in a marathon race.
Ok, I've written a lot about the problem, now what do we do about it? How do we find healing, rest, restoration, forgiveness? How do we deal with the bitterness of the wounds that have been inflicted and never admitted to by the offender? What do we do with OUR wounds?
The most wounded of us all, in the midst of his wounded-ness, prayed, "Father, forgiven them, they don't know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) As I thought about his prayer I realized the secret to healing our wounds is in that simple prayer.
First, go to Father. Like a child with a scratched knee, run to Father and tell him about it. Cry if you need to, but run to Father.
Second, leave the wound with him. Did you notice Jesus didn't say, 'I forgiven them' (although he did). He went to the one who is most offended by our sin and took the focus off of himself to ask God to deal with the wounds. That open hand, that taking the wound to Father to deal with, takes the wound off of my heart , mind and life so God can heal me.
And, third, he told us something we need to know about those who wound us...they don't know what they are doing. They are often acting out of their own unhealed wounds and we are the victims.
Do you realize, when someone wounds you, they most often don't realize what they are doing?
Can you open your hand, give it to Father and let it go?
Can you trust him to resolve it?
Honestly, he is the only one who can. He's the only one who can dress and heal your wounds and the wounds of the one who hurt you.
Ultimately, can you love the one who wounded you because you have run to Father to take care of your wounds, so now you are able to help the one who hurt you with his wounded life and heart?
We are all the walking wounded. Is there healing for our wounds? Yes, and it's only in Christ, only in taking our wounded and broken lives to Father. He knows exactly how to heal us. And when we have gone to Father we can care for others who are wounded around us.