“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your posterity and her posterity; her posterity shall tread your head underfoot, and you shall strike him in his heel.” Genesis 3:15 Ancient Eastern Text
“For thus says the Lord: Your wound is grievous, and your affliction is severe.” Jeremiah 30:12 Ancient Eastern Text
Those who know me well know my enjoyment of the writing form known as allegory. I was quite surprised to learn that not everyone enjoys allegory. That may have something to do with personality types or maybe not!
The allegories of C.S. Lewis happen to be my favorites. Lewis wrote a 3 part allegory with the titles: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Each of the stories may be read separately, however, the continuity of the three shouldn’t be missed. The hero of the three is a man named Ransom. Perelandra is Lewis’ representation of the temptation in the Garden of Eden. At one point in the story of Perelandra, Ransom experiences a wound to his heel which never gets better. This adds to the allegorical reflection of the One Ransom represents.
Wounds come in all sizes, shapes, types, depths, and even in the manner in which they cause pain. Some are easy to heal, others take greater amounts of treatment, and some never heal.
I believe the deepest wounds inflicted are those which often become nearly impossible to heal. Those wounds can come from words spoken in anger, words spoken in jest, words spoken which can never be recalled, and from actions we have taken.
It is practically impossible to gauge the damage that can be done to another since we are all unique creations. No matter how much we may share personality types, similar family backgrounds, or cultural influences, there are still no two people exactly alike.
To expect someone else to respond to treatment that worked for oneself is unrealistic! To demand that someone “Just get over it!” is actually quite a cruel attitude to take. Especially as it isn’t possible for us to know what it might take another to get over anything that has wounded them. It can take several specialists to conquer a disease of the body, even with long periods of time and treatment. How much more time it may take for the emotions, the mind, and the spiritual wounds to heal!
It is probable that Jesus commanded we never judge another person because we have no idea of the wounds they have suffered or how they are even able to cope with those wounds. We provide a facade to try to hide behind when we have been deeply wounded. And sadly the deepest wounds are inflicted by those who claim to love us without reservation. Unfortunately, love without reservation can be found in God alone.
In many circles, this may not be considered PC, but that doesn’t make it any less true. As much as I long and desire to love my wife and daughters unconditionally, I know somewhere within me there will always be something that gets in the way.
The wounds for which I have never been able to find healing have left me disabled. Some of my disabilities are physical, some emotional, some intellectual, and then there are those spiritual wounds that have left me spiritually disabled. Each can contribute to feelings of despair, guilt and shame. Each one can lead me to find myself staring into an open abyss as empty as a black hole and sucking me into a void from which I feel there would be no return.
All these feelings caused by wounds, some intentional, some not so intentional. Other wounds have left me puzzled as to why anyone would want to cause me such pain that my wounds weep constantly. What hope is there for any of us as we stare into the wounds we carry, and more so when we consider the wounds we have caused? There is only one solace of hope, the comfort and confidence we can find in the ultimate wound bearer and wound healer, Jesus.
He took all our wounds, those given, received or earned, even those where we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, as a disciple of Jesus I have come to believe He is intimately and passionately involved in my life, whether I understand all the dynamics of what has or will happen in my life. This is the way I have chosen to try to see life on this planet in rebellion.
Ann Voskamp has expressed God’s response to our pain in these words, “We have a God who sees hearts like we see faces, a God who hears ache like we hear voices, and we have a God who touches wounds like we touch skin.”
I know I won’t get it right, but that’s okay because Jesus has already gotten it right for all of us. I hope you will find that no matter what has happened or will happen in your life, God has never deserted you, nor will He. I know how hard that is to believe sometimes, but Jesus got that right for you and me, too!