As I continue to learn from the life that God has blessed me with, I am growing more and more grateful for God's healing presence in the grittiness of difficult circumstances. In a speech to South Africa amidst the strain of apartheid, Bishop Desmond Tutu challenged the people to use their position as victims to be a way of ministry. He described it as being wounded healers. To see their circumstances as an opportunity to minister to others, rather than a place to complain from.
This past year I became a father, and nearly every time I look into my sons eyes I think of my dad. He was killed when I was four years old, and I have but a few small memories of spending time with him. Looking through the lens of losing my dad, I worship God very intensely as He fathers me, and I grow in gratitude for the amazing mom I have been blessed to have. I thank God for a joy filled second mom and the most amazing dad by way of in-laws. God has provided for me perspective. I see that God has placed before me the opportunity to be a wounded healer. My heart gravitates toward the broken home, those growing up without a dad. I feel the presence of God move me to love with such passion and a desire for others to experience God's limitless love. I think of Paul, the New Testament guy, and how his life preached. I imagine that he wouldn't have to say a single word, but to flash his severely beaten and often imprisoned body, and that would preach beyond words. In a very literal sense, Paul was a wounded healer. In the very worst of circumstances he sang songs of praise and worshiped God when it would seem completely understandable to complain. Paul's life, his body, they proclaim a living and loving father God. Johnny, a friend from the deep, has lived a life laced with brokenness, addictions, and abuse, yet he stood before me yesterday and proclaimed that he is blessed. I watched as he stood at the doors of our church gathering and greeted people with a God engraved smile, and proclaimed to all that he is blessed. My friend is a wounded healer to many, his healed life preaches God's grace.
I have before me the opportunity to be a wounded healer, or I could be an arrogant victim. Mark Batterson says, "Someday we may be as grateful for the bad things as the good things, because the bad things helped prepare us for the good things." Is it easy? Absolutely not. But I awoke this morning with the gift of life, a life that can be lived as a wounded healer for the glory of a living God. My pain can be used as someone else's gain. What a gift, and what an incredible father God we have.
That I would live a life that preaches