Gaping holes, torn and bleeding. My heart ripped from my chest and held in front of me. Too much to bear. This is what trauma does. But maybe these holes exist to be filled with Christ. I’m learning these things from St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, Paul’s letters, Ann Voskamp:
“No one tells you that time doesn’t really heal wounds — only the Wounded Healer can… Sometimes what you think is an an open wound needing to heal — is God opening you up like an ear to hear Him and obey… “
“The slaves to Christ bear the three marks:
1. their eyes see Christ in all faces
2. their lips say yes to Christ in all places
3. and their arms embrace interruptions as Christ’s directions — as all is grace.
For the bound and released, none of it seems ridiculous…”
To read more of this incredibly on-the-knuckle post from Ann Voskamp, click here.
In his heartfelt letter to the church at Corinth, Paul says:
‘We should like you, our brothers, to know something of what we went through in Asia. At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God WHO CAN RAISE THE DEAD.‘
2 Corinthians 1:8-9, Phillips
(highlighting and capitals inserted for emphasis by me)
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
John 14:27 NIV
Let nothing trouble you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone is enough.
Teresa de Ávila
I wonder if wounds are like stigmata, the signs of strength through suffering, glory through despair, courage through pain, bursting, new life through death. Looking into the wound, we see ourselves. It hurts. When we look into the abyss, of course it looks into us… When we love Christ, and we look into the abyss, we don’t see oblivion; we see Him. He’s already been there, so that we don’t have to. Yet through our suffering we grow to know more of Him. Such is the paradox of the Messiah born in the stable, who lifted up the lowest of the low and loved the unloved, the unlovable.
Courage, my friend. Take heart. You are not alone.