Who hasn’t been hurt?
I think we all have experienced hurt in some way, but how do we deal with it?
I have taught, led, and tried to help many people who have had hurts and found there is about as many ways to deal with hurt as there are different types of people. I think one of the most difficult things I have found about what I do is when we try to help someone, genuinely, and they just cannot move on from the hurt that has been inflicted on them. I am not suggesting a “get over it” mentality, but more of an acceptance of healing as I tried to point on in the “Blind” story. I am on the other side of healing and have experienced the good that can come from the hurt, I experience the beauty for ashes and find that I desperately want to see others living on this side of healing as well.
Sadly, it is a path that many will not venture.
One example I have come across when working with those who have been hurt is anger. I am not suggesting there isn’t a place for anger; I am suggesting that it should not rule you. Often the anger that hurt people have becomes misplaced and instead of being pointed at the right target, and disposed of properly, it poisons a person’s actions across the board. These people may come across in society as just miserable people, and they often are. We sometimes see these people have short fuses in situations that aren’t really that important. When trying to help an overly angry person work through their hurts, we may see some daylight, however they don’t want to let go of that anger because they have been wronged. I agree, they have been wronged, it is past. They continually wrong themselves though by holding onto this anger and letting it lash out at those who are not the ones who inflicted the hurt.
Another example is those who are defeated. Those who are angry might view themselves as someone who won’t take any “crap” from anyone, they may view themselves as a fighter and almost righteous in that stand. Other will wilt under any pressure and if asked, there is some excuse as to why they are in the situation they are in. They allow themselves to be defeated by the excuses they are willing to make. The past hurt still has power over them because they never really heal from it and never really feel that they can overcome much of anything. They may feel empowered initially, but when resistance comes they would rather bail out instead of facing a possible failure. Many times it is someone else’s fault, sometimes there is admission to the fault but that is followed up with guilt which further drives them into the downward spiral of defeatism.
As I said, there are too many different types of responses to hurt to mention here. I am mentioning a few that I see forms of the most in trying to help people. I find that the failure in helping is painful, and often I have to admit that I can only try so much before I have to walk away while leaving the door open in the hopes that there will come a time that the hurting soul will accept. I say that because I feel as if that is what Christ does. We are not forced to accept Him in the midst of our filth, and if we choose death over Him…He leaves the door open for when we are open to receive.
The point I want to make is that despite all the failures, there are some that accept. While Paul didn’t accept William’s help in the story, the opportunity was presented and left open. I am a person that was spiritually blind but was given sight because after some of the hurts experienced in my life it was revealed to me that there was more to this life than what I was experiencing and it was worth it to gain my sight. When you experience someone’s life changing and turning from destructive tendencies and breaking free from the bondage of the hurt it is one of the most beautiful things to take part in. I am not the medicine that heals the hurt. I am merely the healed (and still healing) person telling the one who needs the healing about the medicine from experience.
I don’t know where you are today. I don’t know if you are the hurting person, the healed, healing, or someone who thinks they are healed from the hurt but really it has just been glossed over. What I do know is that we have all been hurt. I believe, since we all have experience in hurt, if we take that hurt and deal with it properly, it can make us a much stronger person and avoid perpetuating the problem by continuing the cycle of hurting people. I believe if we take our hurt and do not address it or seek spiritual healing, we will enable the continuation of hurting. A friend of mine always says, “Hurt people, hurt people.” Meaning those who are hurting will hurt other to defend themselves. I always thought it sounded cheesy, but it is painfully true.
The world is full of hurting people. Therefore, the world is full of hurting people, hurting people, who continue to hurt people, and so on. What can we do to change that? I am not talking about preaching against hurting people, I am talking about the dark times when you want to spout off, when we are cut off in traffic, when someone snaps at us, when someone throws you under the proverbial bus, and so on. I am not suggesting we let ourselves be walked on. I am suggesting we handle it in a healthy fashion that doesn’t let this continue to circle the drain.
An open hand to help them up, an open door for those who do not accept, and an open heart for the healing we must receive ourselves. Let’s take these hurts and make them beneficial to who God is making us, and to help others also. I hope this gives us something to ponder.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."