Thanks to my passion for mountain biking and bikepacking I have my fair share of wounds. To guys this is a good thing. Guys like to sit around and tell stories of how and why they have said scare. It's a trophy, resume for adventure, or proof of experience / stupidity (I have both experience and stupidity scares!).
While those kind of wounds allow us to share of our great feats, other kinds of wounds (both physical and psychological) tell a different story. These kind of wounds dig deep, hurt for years, and some times for a lifetime. People, at times, don't even know the harm they're causing and other times people have no idea they're causing these wounds. I call this "opening old wounds and pouring salt on them." It hurts and as they reopen said wounds it feels as if they're pouring salt on it just for their own pleasure to see me squirm.
These wounds lead us to questions that we can't answer: Did we deserve these wounds? Why would a person do such a thing to another person? Where were their parents when this happened? They cripple us. For some, it can mean the difference of getting out of bed or not. Others it can lead to deteriorating relationships or uncontrollable fits of anger. These wounds leave people baffled, confused, or disgusted with said person.
Then how can we, as Christ followers, help these people? If we've never had these kind of wounds, how can we relate?
In his book: The Tangible Kingdom, Hugh Halter says, "no one trusts you unless you share your wounds". This is the key to how we're going to help. Although we might not have experienced the same wounds we have been hurt. Be honest! Don't lie! We've all experienced hurt. Maybe not on the level that they have, but we've all been dumped, didn't make the team, rejected by social groups, alienated, etc.
By sharing our wounds with others it allows other people to see that we hurt too at one time (and might still be hurting), but it's ok... God is a god of all comfort. We don't have to live paralyzed by our wounds. When we can be honest with those around us, is when we can begin to create an environment where healing for all can happen, can exist, and can spread.
In order for us to begin to heal everyone must start at the same place. We both need to understand that this world is corrupt, but God offers us a world free of pain, free of hurt, and free of judgement. When we share our wounds and embrace what the Lord is offering, then we begin to move away from the hurt and allow our wounds to heal. In other words we begin to trust.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Paul calls us to praise the God of all comfort. This passage helps back up the above statement:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
God comforted us in our pain, now we need to do the same. Don't ignore their pain. Share your wounds with them and let them begin to trust that you understand the hurt they feel.
Thanks and God Bless!
PC: David Wildman - Last day in Honduras I thought I'd be "cool" and to a little bunny hop over a rocky pile along the side of the road while descending down the mountain. I ended up running into the back of the rider in front of me and going over the handlebars. Road rash up my left leg and forearm and ended up breaking my left hand. After a bit of groaning and about a 2 hour visit at the military hospital we all had a good laugh about it!