Day 21: Wounds that Heal -- The Gift of Light
by Annette Comiskey DSM Director at Large
”For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
Up until adulthood, I spent the greater part of my life comfortably living in the dark. Having been sexually abused at the age of 4, darkness served me: it covered my wounds and protected me from anyone getting too close.
My sight became accustomed to darkness, and I was afraid to let “light’ in. If friends tried to get close and tried to see beneath what I presented to them, I retreated. If success of any kind was at hand, I effectively sabotaged myself so that I wouldn’t need to hear and receive praise.
My comfort in the darkness also formed my relationship with the Lord. I loved Jesus dearly and instinctively knew from an early age that He loved me. But I didn’t want Him to join in the darkness where my ugly wounds were evident. Why would this most wonderful Man want to see the real mess I had made of my life? For twenty years, I worked in vain to clean out my own wounds and make myself presentable to Jesus.
My self-preservation was challenged when I started attending the Vineyard West LA in 1979. God was intently, however slowly, exposing me to more light. I started dating Andy, who had a love for Jesus that seemed to grow the more he let Jesus into his life. This was appealing but frightening as I knew that Jesus would be repelled by the darkness of my wounded life.
The first Sunday the pastor spoke about the love of Jesus simply as His love for His children. No pre-existing conditions mattered; HE just accepted us. He had power to heal our wounds. For the first time I began to know that He had descended into darkness so that He could take away my darkness. The light I feared would reject me now highlighted the place Jesus desired to dwell. Rather than expose my darkness, the Light revealed my greatest need. It was for Jesus, and He delighted in meeting me there.
That began a walk of trust in Jesus as healer of my abuse. Through a counselor and group of close friends surrounding Andy and me, I allowed Jesus to shine His light in deep unexpressed pain. I released that pain and discovered new levels of trust and openness to people around me. Mostly, I deepened in love with the Light of the world, who first loved me.
‘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.’