“I’ve had this gaping…wound my entire life and I keep asking Jesus to heal it.”

I wrote those words to a friend yesterday and then gasped.  Feeling like I was eavesdropping on my own life, a la Parker Palmer, I reread that statement.  It shocked me for two reasons.  The first being what I left off at the end of the sentence but I knew I wanted to say: “but he hasn’t” or “but he refuses to for some reason” or “even though he totally could”.

And that brought to mind Paul’s words in II Corinthians 12:7-10:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul had something…a woundedness…and he kept asking God to take it away, but he didn’t.  I can think of three people right now who do not know who I really am but do not like me or at the very least have something against me.  (I’m sure there are more, but I only know of the three, thank goodness.)

So it occurs to me that if at the age of forty-one, I still struggle with the same core wound – not feeling heard, understood and therefore loved – it must be for a reason.

The prophet Isaiah said of Christ that “by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53).  I know that Jesus died for my sin and took that on even though he was sinless, but I can’t help but wonder if the man who was “turned down by the people” (Luke 17) can heal us by his wounds because this he truly understands.  He was not heard.  He was not understood.  He was most certainly not loved by all.

In this I have the profound gift of identifying, even if just in slivers, with my Savior.  In this, when the loneliness settles over me like a too heavy blanket, I can choose to turn to him who relates fully with my wound and let him fill me with reminders that he hears me, he understands me and he loves me, more than I’ll ever know.

Even at forty-one, I may still carry around this wound, but I am still being pursued, still being healed.

“Fathers and mothers don’t always come through/prophets and lovers don’t always hold true/but I’m coming for you…I’m coming for you…wherever you go…”   – Audrey Assad