“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves”
“If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.”
– Elizabeth Elliot
“Much of your pain is the bitter poison by which the physician within you heals your sick self.”
– Khalil Gibran
Hurt people, hurt people…
I am tattered with scars, scars that if you look closely, you can trace contours and grooves, like lines of a map. They are clues to a treasure, a quest I am still embarking. They are knitted together with love like a patchwork quilt, each part is unique and chosen.
Scars are never ugly because they always have a story.
A story of grace and healing, a story that says that though He wounds,He will bind up.
A story that says that though you were once sick like Simon’s wife’s mother, you too will be called to arise and serve those that healed you and those that hurt you.
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”
– Mother Theresa
It’s true, sometimes the thorn that pierces us can leave others bleeding as they embrace us, the broken sometimes have spiky edges. But what if one day the thorn that once pierced my flesh becomes a seed that grows into a beautiful garden of compassion.What if hurt people stopped hurting people? What if hurt people could heal people?
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.”
“For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal”
“But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them”
I have been wounded for love. I have learnt that love and pain are streams that lead to the same river, they are notes in one long symphony, they often meander and intertwine. That is why it is said that Love is as strong as death, because if it doesn’t kill you, it sure will make you bleed. To really love someone, means to suffer with them, and sometimes because of them. But, through the pain, I have cast out my blood stained robes of pride, so that unveiled and wounded, I have learnt what it means to partake of His suffering…and of other people’s.
“Through compassion it is possible to recognise that the craving for love that people feel resides also in our own hearts, that the cruelty the world knows all too well is also rooted in our own impulses. Through compassion we also sense our hope for forgiveness in our friends’ eyes and our hatred in their bitter mouths. When they kill, we know that we could have done it; when they give life, we know that we can do the same. For a compassionate person nothing human is alien: no joy and no sorrow, no way of living and no way of dying… The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.”
– Henri Nouwen
God uses the broken for His glory. Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light in.
Hannah had bitterness of soul over infertility and a broken domestic situation.
Elijah felt so beaten down that he asked God to take his life.
Job and Jeremiah cursed the day that they were born.
David repeatedly asked his own soul why it was so downcast.
Even Jesus, the perfectly divine human, lamented that His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow.
He wept when His friend died.
Our pain is always with purpose, there is a always a message in the mess. Our pain is the point at which, even for just a fraction of infinity, His heart touches mine because He knows what it means to be wounded for others. But, once our wounds have healed they no longer ooze with regret and self condemnation. The wound is the place where the light enters you, where we bleed out love and healing. Our wounds scream out; its because you are glorious that these things happened to you. Through our healing, we can heal people.
I pray and ask, how can I be the oil of the good Samaritan? The Greek word for Mercy is ‘eleos’, which is the same root of the old Greek word for oil. So I pray, let our mercy be poured out on the wounded. Let us stand by valiantly, even in silence, close enough to warm broken hearts, avoiding the distance of pity as well as the exclusiveness of sympathy. Our God is not a God of confusion, so let us reflect the Divine by not adding tip or trick. Having the ability to go to the place of our own suffering and meet them right where they are , having the patience to tolerate not knowing and not saying but facing the reality of the the pain in its fullness, letting it be felt.
“The path to God is a daily cross. No one has ascended to heaven by way of ease. We know where the easy way leads.”
– St Isaac the Syrian
“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.”
– St Ignatius of Loyola
‘The Greek myth of Chiron, the centaur from whose name chirurgie is derived in French and surgery is derived in English, can help us to understand. The Greek gods Apollo and Artemis taught medicine to Chiron. Chiron was wounded by an arrow from Heracles’ bow. He did not die (because gods are immortal); instead, he suffered excruciating pain for the rest of his eternal days. It was because of his grievous wound that Chiron became known as a legendary healer in ancient Greece. Chiron later took an orphaned child, Esculapius, into his care. The son of Apollo and a mortal, Coronis, Esculapius had been spared certain death when Apollo snatched him from his dead mother’s breast just as she was about to burst into flames. The orphan was entrusted to Chiron, who taught him everything he knew about the healing arts. It was thus that Esculapius became one of the two founding fathers of Western medicine.
In 1951, Jung first used the term wounded healer. Jung believed that disease of the soul could be the best possible form of training for a healer. In a book published days before his death, Jung wrote that only a wounded physician could heal effectively. In so doing, Jung drew upon the myth of Chiron, making it one of the most fundamental archetypes of human history and modern medicine.
There is always a star in the darkness of the night;