Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Wounded Soldier"

The other night I was watching a rerun of “Saving Private Ryan”, and this guy is running across a bridge when he gets shot in the back. He goes into shock. His friend picks him up and says, “You’ve been shot!” The guy replies, “It’s just a nick, I’ll be alright.” Then the guy trying to save him gets shot and killed. Heroically, the wounded soldier tries to stay in the fight, but he slowly bleeds to death.

Can you imagine a person being shot with an arrow and then saying, “It’s not that bad. I’ll be alright.”? He just sort of breaks off the part of the arrow that’s sticking out and moves on. He seeks no medical attention-nothing. That would be crazy, right?

Yet this is exactly what many of us do when we are wounded. We soldier on in life without ever really acknowledging our need for healing. We tend to think we can handle it. All the while, deep inside our chest, is an arrowhead that is eventually going to have to be removed if we’re going to be healthy.

We can’t really move forward in life until these issues are properly addressed. We try but the wound lives on. My past visits my present and negatively impacts my future. Pain from the old wound finds expression in current relationships. Often people find themselves in conflicts that have little to do with what is going on right now and everything to do with something that happened in the past. Are you having problems in your relationships? Could it be that if you were to deal with your hurt from the past you would experience a new quality of relationships in the future?

Do you know what I think happens to us? We become so familiar with our pain that we are numb to it. It is now become part of our normal experience. We have been hurt or angry for so long that we have internalized it.

Last night I watched a show called “Shalom in the Home”. A Jewish Rabbi is invited to help a married couple deal with what they term an “unruly child”. The Rabbi quickly uncovers the source of the child’s anger-marital conflict between two angry, hurting parents. But even underneath that is the source of the Father’s anger-abandonment from his father when he was a little boy. But when he was encouraged to deal with the old wound, he did not want to talk about it. So he just goes on in life experiencing the perpetuation of the wound in his most important relationships. Unconsciously, he decides to live with it. Like the soldier in the movie, he slowly bleeds and slowly dies. The only difference is that he is taking his family down with him. The old saying is true: “Hurting people hurt people”.

One time Jesus was talking to a man who had been sick for years, and He said to him, “Do you want to be made well”? What kind of question is that? Of course he wants to be well, right? Wrong. The man had become accustomed to his illness and desire for healing had all but gone. He had developed excuses and coping mechanisms and did not necessarily want to be whole.

At some point we have to desire more. We have to want to be healthy. We have to want to be fully alive again. We need to admit the fact that we NEED healing from relational hurts.

Have you been wounded? Maybe even by someone you trusted or loved? Have you recognized the need to deal with your wound? Turn to God right now. Show Him your wound. Weep with Him. Allow Him to touch it. This is the first step in the process. Acknowledge your need to your loving Father in heaven.

I pray today for the wounded soldiers. Those who are trying to move forward but find themselves going in circles. I pray that you would grant insight into the source of the pain. I pray for openness to Your healing touch. Give us desire for more. Help us to want what you want for us. Give us courage to face our pain knowing that you are here with us every step of the way. Give us grace to embrace the process of forgiveness and healing. Make us well.

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