Friday, February 29, 2008

Wounded Healer

Dr. Robert Schuller has a saying about suffering: “Turn your scars into stars.” A little corny, to say the least, but a point well taken. As wounded healers, we are better able to minister to others, because we have been there – we’ve been through the fiery ordeal. Our scars give us legitimacy, our trials give us compassion, and our experiences give us credibility.

As a wounded healer, you can help people much more effectively, because you’ve been there, and you’ve come through it. For example, when I went into the hospital a few years ago with a heart problem and needed surgery, I stood on one of the many promises of God. I wasn’t too thrilled about facing surgery, but I clung to a verse I’ve used for years, which is Jeremiah 29:11:

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. NRSV

I knew God was with me, and so I was incredibly calm about the whole thing, which only God could do. God used my experience in the hospital to help others, both when I was taking the course on chaplaincy, and even now in my everyday ministry. In a way, I am a wounded healer – and now I can relate much better than I otherwise could have.

We all will suffer in some way, and will face trails until we arrive at our heavenly home, where there are no more tears, no more pain, and no more mourning. In the meantime, we’re stuck on this flawed and imperfect earth, so with God’s help let’s make the best of our inevitable difficulties. How do we make the best of it? By:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
by the living Word of God [we] shall prevail,
standing on the promises of God.

More about being a wounded healer in a future post.

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