Wounds. They stink. But we’ve all got them.
I’m talking about that pain inside our hearts. It leaves a kicked-in-the-gut feeling at the moment of contact and then, after it leaves our stomach, it seeps into our hearts. And sits there. Festering.
It’s the pain that deeply affects us, whether we recognize it or not. The pain that brings out the side of ourselves that we hate. Over and over we’ll try to act differently, to push the wound aside, to “get over it.” But, like a cocklebur stuck on a cotton sweater, wounds are hard to shake.
Wounds, when left unrecognized or untreated, severely destroy relationships. They stunt our growth, trapping us in a corner of self-pity, anger and hurt.
During my last year of college, the leader of the men’s Bible study I was in instructed us to delve into our wounds—to ask God to help us recognize them. To talk to Him about them. To explore the root that caused them. In a few weeks, we were all going to share—and sharing wasn’t optional.
Ten 22-year-olds talking about their “wounds?” A.W.K.W.A.R.D. Right?
Actually, it was powerful. As men opened up, their voices shook. You could see the nasty pride seeping out of our hearts—hearts that were humbly being exposed like they never had been before.
The worst way to deal with a wound? Recoil. Turn inward. Lock up your heart in a cold, stone vault. Swallow the key and hope the pain “goes away.” It never works.
When I look around, I see wounded people. Friends wounded by friends. Relatives wounded by relatives. Wounded relationships with the Catholic Church. The worst wounds are the ones inflicted by the people we love and hold in high esteem.
Just think of all the missed opportunities. Wounds (a.k.a. Satan’s “trophies of success”) freeze us in our tracks, paralyzing our ability to love completely—sometimes even dissolving our relationship with God and His Church.
How should I cope with my wounds? I need to run to Jesus! It doesn’t need to be some lofty, pie-in-the-sky idea. Even though it’s exactly the
of what I’m tempted to do in that moment of disappointment, I need to bring the wound to Jesus. To vent to Him. To explain how it hurts. And why it hurts. And why I’m angry. And why I think I’m justified. To expose my heart.
Slowly, an intimate relationship develops. He understands.
I sometimes wonder how many wounds I’ve caused in others. How many wounds I’ve pierced into the heart of Jesus.
He forgives me. And forgets. And loves me even greater than He did before. Why shouldn’t I try my hardest to do the same?
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