A WOMEN walks into a counselling room on a Friday morning, running 20 minutes late for the appointment. She’s met by a man about 15 years her senior. He’s a counselling pastor. He’s been praying for her and following her up for at least six months. She’s reluctantly come along this particular day. She’s very anxious. This is their first face-to-face meeting — an answer to his prayers.
How does this initial session go?
The pastor shares part of his journey that connects with the woman’s and she suddenly encounters a type of man she’s never met before. He shares his own material of marital brokenness. But not just that; he shares his material of marital wholeness, too. She is astounded at the vulnerability he’s able to show as he models to her how to share the deepest of struggles and learning. Having shared very much his experiences, she takes her turn and blossoms in the sharing. They spend 90 minutes together. Even though she’s touched by his honest vulnerability and by the witness of his noticeable raw faith, at no time does she feel vulnerable in inappropriate ways. She feels honoured like a sister or daughter in his presence.
During the session, she touches her brokenness, but also gains glimpses into an emerging wholeness. Her brokenness is not judged, yet the pregnant possibilities laden in wholeness are encouraged to be pondered. She feels safe to share anything with no fear for recrimination nor rejection.
When the session is concluded the woman goes home and on the way is struck with just how free she feels within herself. Something has changed. Something has shifted. Something is how it never was before.
The wounded healer inspires confidence because they share openly into their experiences of brokenness and healing. From their brokenness and healing comes the humility of vulnerability and the humility of learning. Their sharing models how their client can safely share to receive their own healing amid accepting ears. Both states of brokenness and healing require strength to bear and to procure.
Confidence is inspired because two things are proven: 1) the courage to be vulnerable is exemplary; and 2) healing is proof of courage to tackle brokenness.
The wounded healer shows people they help how to wrestle with brokenness to receive healing. Their honest sharing opens up in others the courage to wrestle.
Courage is the reason a wounded healer is able to inspire confidence in those they help. Courage compels us to be honest about our woundedness and it’s courage that encourages us in our healing.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.