Thursday, November 19, 2009

Final Thoughts on Healing Without Scars


As you hopefully understood, I was primarily (though not totally) speaking of the healing of our "hearts" and minds--our spirits. Emotional wounds are often more difficult to understand than physical ones. After all, they cannot be seen (though their effects often can be) by others. We may unwittingly inflict pain on someone who is in emotional or spiritual pain that we would never think of causing to a person who was physically wounded or disabled.

Sometimes what one person can rise above relatively easily may take another person a great deal of time and effort to begin to overcome. I believe that much of that is due to our innate personalities, our temperaments, our age at the time wounds were inflicted, and so on. It is futile to compare emotional and spiritual wounds with those of someone else.

The responses to these three posts, and also on Facebook (where my Owl's Song posts are cross posted) were so insightful and moving. It seems many people understood clearly that there was something "not quite right" about expecting oneself--or most especially others--to experience healing, deliverance and wholeness to a degree that leaves them unscathed.

Here is just some of the wisdom in what you all shared:

Maureen said, "Personally, I like the idea of scars. They are proof that something has happened and healing has taken place."

Auntie Knickers said, "I think any trauma has to leave scars, just as aging leaves wrinkles! And that's not necessarily a bad thing." I loved that analogy!

I think Tom might have had similar thoughts when he said, "But if we remain without scars would we have lived?"

Iris, who is a most excellent student and teacher of the scripture, said something I find very significant. "Jesus still had his scars even in his resurrected body."

Sophia is thinking of Jesus wounds too, and says, "And Jesus' scars, at least in Catholic devotion, are seen as blessed and glorious and sources of healing for us....So ours can be the same, I think."

And Gail was thinking about this too, when she commented, "Since we know that Jesus has nail-scarred hands, how can we expect any less?" And she agrees with Maureen when she adds, "Scars remind us of the hurt and pain, but they also remind us that healing has taken place. And I am grateful that the Lord uses not-so-perfect people."

Eija has written a song in Finnish, but I found her words (loosely translated into English) to express this so beautifully.

"Let your scars...nurture people as warmth from the Lord. You know how to comfort the broken and the crying, because the scars always remind you of your pain."

and:

"Your pain has turned your weakness into strength, and now you can support others. You can walk with the crying because you know Who heals the wounds."

I wish I could hear you sing that, Eija!

Grady says this, "... in the spiritual realm, scars become a part of the structure of a person in a way that the physical does not mimic...the scars we gain here on this earth are merely reflections of His scars - they are a part of our becoming conformed to His image - not merely in the physical, but as His glory - a spiritual glory - is revealed in us.

Some mentioned the pain that unrealistic teaching of scripture can bring. This is the saddest part of all. Again, I have not read the book, "Healed Without Scars" but the title reminded me of a website I saw once. It was the site for a large, independent, Pentecostal church. The church's motto, emblazoned in bright letters on a banner at the top of the home page said

Welcome to _________ Church--Where Failure is Not an Option!

I have no doubt those church folks meant well. I wonder how many dear people have given up on church because they are think there is something wrong with them--since everyone else is so happy and blessed all the time!

The leaders at that church were probably trying to emphasize that we can be healed, we can be victorious, we can be what the Book of Revelation calls "overcomers." Praise God for that! God does heal! God brings physical healing, and God brings spiritual healing. How I praise the Great Physician, and the One who loves us always, that we can find healing, confidence, hope, and restoration as we abide in Christ and allow him, more and more, to abide in us.

But do you suppose that there is much open sharing of struggles and pain at that church? Their banner makes me shudder. The truth is, failure is very much an option. We all fail at times, and it is how we respond that counts. I am not yet perfect, and neither is anyone else--even preachers who tell you that you can walk in perpetual health, or that you can life your best life now.

I found myself wondering how a person who was not only blessed by God with emotional healing but who did not even have scars could "rejoice in suffering," as both Jesus and St. Paul tell us to do? Grady said, "I want to glory in my sufferings (which are incredibly light, compared to His), for they are a large part of what makes me more like Him!"

Yes!

I am grateful for both the physical and the spiritual/emotional healing that God has brought into my life. Without the grace and mercy of a Healer God, I would be a very different person than the one I am today. I was not supposed to see and I do, nor walk and I do...and so on. I also am not, as I once was, spiritually wounded and bleeding to the point of desperation. God forgives and restores. But scars do remain. So do areas of greater tenderness or vulnerability, both physically and spirituality. So do some things that remind me I must guard my heart and be cautious--and that I must depend upon God!

If you have been damaged or discouraged by teaching that ignores the reality of living in a fallen, sinful world with fallen, sinful people--with sickness, pain, grief, tragedy, horror, abuse and death--take courage. Hope in God, dear ones.

While there are no promises of blissful existence while we are in this world, there are many scriptural assurances of a better time--a time when tears will be wiped away, all our diseases will be healed, and there will be no more death.

Meanwhile, continue to walk out your faith as a child of light. Allow God to bring you healing in whatever way, and whatever time, God decides. Like Paul, allow your difficulty to help you have compassion on others--other scarred and marred and frail human beings. Allow your scars to be a source of remembering that you are being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ.

The wounds of Jesus Christ bring us healing. As Sophia notes, that makes them glorious!

Our own scars will remind us of our own humanity. I do want to be healed. I am seeking healing of some things right now. But, truth be told, it probably would not be a good thing if I were healed and no scars, no reminders, remained.

The real victory of those who find peace and hope and faith in Jesus Christ is that we CAN be victorious, vessels for God's use, instruments of life and peace and hope for others in spite of our scars. The only way to do this is in dependence on God's grace.

I think that is just how God wants it.


John 20:19-21 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

Romans 8:17-18 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering...But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

4 comments:

Sophia said...

This is lovely, dear one. Thank you.

Prayers for all the healing you are seeking right now...and thank you again for your loving and powerful intercession and listening for me. Godde used it to do wonders.

SingingOwl said...

I am rejoicing in that, Sophia.
:-)

eija said...

Great series of posts!

As for hearing me sing the song... well, sometimes it's good to hold on to illusions and not ruin them with the harsh/unperfect reality :D Seriously, I'm not that good a singer but sometimes I've recorded some of my songs. But as said, that one is only in Finnish and I don't think it would be easy or even possible to translate it so that it would work properly when sung. It'll be so much easier some day in Heaven when there will be no language- or cultural barriers :D

Have a great, blessed week.

Auntie Knickers said...

What a wonderful synthesis of all you and the rest of us have said -- a lot of wisdom here. Thanks.