Day 20: Wounds that Heal
I don’t like wounds. I’d rather avoid them: maybe the bloody mess will coagulate and heal itself. When I fractured my toes running, I committed to ‘run off’ the injury. I especially don’t like emotional wounds. They slow me down. I am tempted to distort the truth of things as to maintain a certain well-being. Betrayals, painful memories, and the feelings they engender can disorient me and put me in conflict with people I love.
I guess Jesus didn’t like His wounds either. His were deeply physical, unto death but no less profound emotionally. The people He came to save slew Him; even His best friends scattered at His darkest hour. His Father Advocate appeared to turn away when our sin fell upon Him and cast Him in hell, alone. Jesus wasn’t happy about His wounds but He bore them anyway. He allowed Himself to be broken to make us whole. You could say the Cross—divine divide unto union—has power to unite our disintegrated parts. ‘By His wounds we are healed’ (Is. 53:5).
I already mentioned my father, an honorable man with whom I had a divided relationship in my early life. Through effective therapy, Jesus invited me to face some unexpected suffering as to free me to love this man. But like Jesus, I had to go through the wound to be healed. I could neither dodge nor run through it. One such encounter with the Crucified occurred at a Living Waters Training. There, I faced a stronghold of darkness that fought to divide me as it came through father/child alienation in my bloodlines. Deep. Oppressive.
The Cross became Light—clarifying divides—and Fire, inviting me to give Jesus all the petty defenses and judgments to which I still clung. He alone could bear and burn them. He took what I surrendered, after which I experienced a soundness in my sexual being I hadn’t known before. I no longer felt that childish reactivity toward dad nor did I lust as I had before. I couldn’t own my manhood and grasp after a man at the same time.
Soon after, I had a dream in which I saw the twin torsos of my father and I emerging out of a thick piece of wood. We were strong, side-by-side, and mirrored each other, mostly. I was proud. Here was the man from whom I was hewn. I felt no disquiet, just confidence. I was happy to be alongside him.
Jesus reveals our wounds to heal them. He brings together what is divided.
‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’
‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’