Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Old Hurts Heal

Old Hurts Heal

By Brenda Black

I once received an anonymous letter with hateful, hurtful accusations that can sting to this day if I visit the memory for more than a minute. I've advanced past the shocking assault and I'm far removed from analyzing it through fitful, sleepless nights as a young pastor's wife. Now I look back on the cruel injury with grateful assurance that God used it to move me and mature me. But what of the person who hid in anonymity behind a manually typed memo and left it unsigned? God knew their jealous motivation then and He knows their heart this very moment. I don't need to remain on duty trying to correct their misguided meanness nor do I need to now be defined by their past erroneous assertions. There comes a point where there's no point to licking old wounds, for some can never be reached by my own doing.

What's the first thing humans do when we get a boo boo? We blow on it, kiss it or lick it. So let's just say you scrape your elbow. Go ahead, try to reach it with any part of your blowing, kissing, licking apparatus. I'd venture to say, you are trying to prove me wrong in this very moment. But I'm right. You can't touch that wound with love from your own lips. It can only be soothed by another.

It was God who healed the ache in my heart, the trouble in my mind that was delivered by the hands and words of another. He alone softened the brutal blow with time and tenacity as He passionately pursued me. My loving Father in Heaven never let go even when I was so wounded I wanted to quit the preaching team, curl up in a ball and be alone. God is an expert at healing and forgiving.

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:23-24)

I remember vividly a song that echoed over and over in my mind when I felt so unloved, so helpless to remove the hurt and so sinfully angry that it ever happened. As sin tried to creep into my heart, this song pleaded with me to not hate those who viciously and senselessly attack. The lyrics beckoned me to cling instead to the cross and trust that justice and healing don't have to be parallel or simultaneously wrought. Sometimes justice never comes here on earth. But healing is possible even when the enemy tries to destroy us.

“Keep me near the cross, Near the cross. May I never stray so far, That I cannot see, What flowed down for me, At the foot of the cross... Now I'm not looking back, I've heard your voice.
And Im staying here, I've made my choice. Now it's real, Now I kneel, At the foot of the cross” (“At the Foot of the Cross” - 1996 Shepherd Boy MusicASCAP)

That's where true healing takes place. I wept again as I listened to this powerful song just now and realized how very far I've come. Instead of God desperately holding to me, I'm joyfully clinging to Him. I'm praising Him with arms outstretched and the full assurance that nothing can harm me at the foot of the cross where Jesus' shadow is cast over me. No wicked words, no hate-filled criticism, no jealous immaturity can stop me from being whole and happy.

When you can't lick your own wounds, let the Savior kiss your boo boo. His loving touch is all you need for healing.

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