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  • Writer's pictureTodd

Wounded Healers

Jesus' Radical Way of Dealing with the Hurt in our World

I've noticed more frequently than usual that many people are fighting battles in their lives, but they lack the tools or knowledge to fight effectively. The pain they experience, the confusion they go through, or the cycles they're stuck in have become normalized. This is something we often encounter here in Jaco, just to name a few examples:

  • Broken families or absent fathers

  • Kids lacking good mentors or strong peers

  • People trapped in poverty and vulnerable living situations

  • Anxiety among kids and restlessness in adults

  • A general lack of purpose or vision for life

  • A lost ability to trust others due to past hurts

We carry a burden in our hearts to be a part of change and renewal in people's lives here. However, what must come first is an examination of our own lives and the scars we carry from past hurts or disappointments.

I find comfort in Jesus' words, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" (Luke 5:31).

A good doctor doesn't just diagnose the symptoms but examines the root cause. In my recent sermon at our local church in Jaco, I specifically explored how Jesus looks at our anger and reconciliation. He warns us that our reaction to the anger we feel when there is hurt or injustice deeply matters. Jesus is not okay with the world's way of conflict management: passive aggressiveness, avoidance, retaliation, hatred, slander, etc. He doesn't just confront the actions but particularly examines the deeper motives and reasons behind those symptoms.

Jesus wants people to transition from being "hurt people who hurt people" to becoming "healed people who heal people."

As the great reconciler, Jesus pursues us and takes upon himself the iniquity of the world so that we can be at peace with God. Being at peace with God marks the beginning of growth into the people we're meant to be. We are no longer defined or driven by the hurts mentioned in the list above. We are given a new heart in Christ.

Then, we can become people who extend this peace and reconciliation to others, or in other words, what Henri Nouwen calls "wounded healers." Our wounds go from being a source of shame to a source of healing.

This is why we are all called to be present with others, to walk with them on their journey, and introduce them to the One who makes all things new. It's why mentorship and inviting young people into a community of faith are so close to our hearts. We get to experience the fruit of being wounded healers to young people and families here. This is the radical type of work Jesus calls us to. It's hard work, but it's worth it.


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