SURVIVAL is the grand initiative of one who has been spurned by life, but not the Lord. Indeed, we ought to know God never lets us go. Jesus lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). But we who hope to make a difference for the Kingdom must first survive the pain we have been called to endure.
We must survive before we can thrive. And thriving in this respect is about purpose.
The purpose God primes us for is to be a wounded healer: one whose pain has forged within them an extraordinary compassion, but not only that; within them now is the purpose to reacquaint with pain, for there is now no fear, just the knowledge that where there’s pain there’s hope for life beyond it.
Who is the wounded healer?
They’re a trainer in being a feeler.
They’re an encourager to be realer.
In hope they’re the dealer.
The wounded healer opens the safe space of hospitality (Greek: philoxenia) which is more than simply authentic friendship, but that is its essence. Like the counselling relationship, the wounded healer has a special relationship with those they help. It is an entirely serving relationship. The person in pain dictates the space. And the space can just as well be provided to a stranger than an existing friend.
Pain that has been felt — and pain that has been endured — importantly in combination — qualifies us for this special role. We haven’t been scarred by the pain, but we have been softened and matured by it. We have a capacity for others in pain to move into our orbit, so we might be able to absorb some of the heat of their pain in order that they might enjoy warmth and comfort.
The wounded healer is an unsung hero type and they are occasionally susceptible to discouragement. But this is only because they may have a crisis of purpose if they’re underutilised.
Enduring pain, then, has its purpose in what might be offered to those near us who will endure pain in the future. The wounded healer is a purveyor of hope.
The ability to endure pain is a special gift. God will use such a gift afterwards in support of others who are in pain. But we must survive the pain first. And when pain returns to our lives as a wounded healer, we take the opportunity of solace. But we are also helped in the helping of others.
The wounded healer is able to help those in pain with a help they were helped with.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.