Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally,
mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?”
so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service
of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source
of healing, we have become wounded healers.
Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ suffering
and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought
a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring
healing to others.
- Henri J. M. Nouwen
“The wind is up above the world before a twig on the tree has moved. So there must always be a battle in the sky before there is a battle on the earth. Since it is lawful to pray for the coming of the kingdom, it is lawful also to pray for the coming of the revolution that shall restore the kingdom. It is lawful to hope to hear the wind of Heaven in the trees. It is lawful to pray ‘Thine anger come on earth as it is in Heaven.’”
-G.K. Chesterton in “The Wind and the Trees” in Tremendous Trifles
“That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, ‘Thou art my refuge.’”
— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, “The Child in the Midst”
Being with a friend in great pain is not easy. It makes us uncomfortable. We do - Henri J. M. Nouwen
not know what to do or what to say, and we worry about how to respond to what we
hear. Our temptation is to say things that come more out of our own fear than
out of our care for the person in pain. Sometimes we say things like “Well, you’re
doing a lot better than yesterday,” or “You will soon be your old self again,”
or “I’m sure you will get over this.” But often we know that what we’re saying
is not true, and our friends know it too.
We do not have to play games with each other. We can simply say: “I am your friend,
I am happy to be with you.” We can say that in words or with touch or with loving
silence. Sometimes it is good to say: “You don’t have to talk. Just close your
eyes. I am here with you, thinking of you, praying for you, loving you.”
Being with a friend in great pain is not easy. It makes us uncomfortable. We do
- Henri J. M. Nouwen
Perhaps we don’t like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.