Hurt people, hurt people ∙
The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. – Isaiah 61:1
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.
22 But the LORD will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Who are the walking wounded?
In first aid and triage, the walking wounded are injured persons with relatively minor injuries. These patients are conscious and breathing and are of a relatively low priority for care. They may even be called upon to assist others who are more seriously injured.
Psychologically speaking, the walking wounded are folks who suffered a significant loss and seek closure. They move about through life but are not quite 100%. There is no universal roadmap for grief. Each person’s grief is unique and, therefore, somewhat uncharted territory.
Many of the walking wounded have wounded hearts. They had been ravaged by emotional pain. Wounded hearts can ache throughout a lifetime. In response, safety and security become the ultimate goal. They make a firm commitment never to be hurt again. Self-protection is key. They are driven never again to be powerless, abandoned, dominated, rejected, or betrayed.
Folks with wounded hearts limit and control emotion. They are like a rental truck with the governor or speed limiter on the engine, limiting the top speed. They can be organized but rarely sufficiently in control, pleasant but seldom truly alive. They may be generous and self-sacrificing but hardly inviting.
There is no one size, fits all remedy for a wounded heart. But one step along the way is to realize that the Father loves you and accepts you unconditionally. The Father is well aware of your heartache and despair. He is watchful and attentive. Whether you feel it or not, He draws near. The Father is close and reaching out to you.
Psalms 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The Father is an excellent heart surgeon. He knows exactly what to do. Open heart surgery is effortless for Him. He does not require malpractice insurance because He never makes mistakes. But even potential corrective surgery in His skillful hands may still give rise to fear of even more pain. Is the risk worth the liberating outcome?
The 21st century has seen emerging new modalities of regenerative science.
Heretofore, deep wounds, insults to the body, and broken body parts necessitated invasive surgery and lengthy recuperation times. Enter the age of regenerative medicine using STEM cells and PRP to regenerate human tissue without any surgical intervention. If mere mortals are capable of such ingenious modern alternative treatments for traumatic physical damage, how much more is the Father, the Lord God Omnipotent, capable of repairing heart and emotional damage without additional trauma or pain?
When permitted to operate, He performs the necessary spiritual surgical procedures. He then soothes, comforts, and applies His unique healing balm. The healing process begins with His touch. When your pain seems endless, and your heart is shattered, you can entrust your heart into the compassionate, tender, and skillful hands of the One who made it.
Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
The Hebrew word translated as heals is rapha. Rapha has the sense of providing whatever is necessary to cure and restore one’s health. A human surgeon can operate and repair heart damage. But only the Father can regenerate and renew a broken heart.
Redemption and regeneration are at the core of His divine business model.
REFLECT & PRAY
Sometimes the ache and pain of a wounded heart seem to be unbearable. But bear it, we can. Healing and recovery rarely occur in an instant. But instead, like physical heart surgery, it is a process that takes time.
Father I so need Your healing touch for my damaged and shattered heart. Please do what You alone can do.
The Father does not exempt His children from troubles. But He promises to get us through them. We can count on His acceptance and understanding.
As we receive His forgiveness and acceptance, and affirmation, we are to forgive and accept others as we have been forgiven and accepted. How we respond to others in similar situations reveals our heart condition. Our attitudes and actions reflect our hearts.
James 2:13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
How much acceptance should we offer others? Just about as much as we have received ourselves.
Romans 15:7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Sadly, if we have received rejection from others, we tend to pass it on. We give what we got [c.f. Hurt People, Hurt People, Sandra Wilson, 2001]. But that can end right now! Past rejection need not determine our present or future. As we diminish our all-too-frequent tendency to reject others, we expand our ability to accept them.
Isaiah 43:18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
“Bitterness refers to a settled hostility that poisons the whole inner man. Somebody does something we do not like, so we harbor ill will against him. . . . Bitterness leads to wrath, which is the explosion on the outside of the feelings on the inside. Wrath and anger often lead to brawling (clamor) or blasphemy (evil speaking). The first is fighting with fists; the second is fighting with words” (Wiersbe).
Often bitterness and anger begin over trivial things. But they mushroom and create havoc. Children of the King should not act in this way. And yet sadly, we frequently do.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all malice.
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
We are to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness towards others which mirrors the forgiveness we have received through the Lord Jesus Christ.