A small girl rushes through the back door of her house, slamming the screen door behind her. Her tousled blonde hair is full of scraps of leaves and dirt, and a smear of blood crosses the front of her trousers at the knee.
“Mommy!” she wails piteously. Her mother bursts into the room in response to her child’s cry and scoops her daughter into her loving arms. Instantly assessing the situation as only a mother can do, she cradles her on her lap and coos, “Honey, show me where it hurts.”
These types of hurts can be cleaned and bandaged. After a few days a scab forms as protection for the new skin growing back. A few more days and it comes off, revealing healthy skin underneath. All that is needed is patience for the wound to heal (and maybe a kiss, too, for a small child).
Whether it shows on the outside or comes from within, we have all experienced physical pain. We can ache from our backs, stomachs, ears, teeth, head, and joints. These unseen causes can produce very real suffering.
But what about the unseen suffering from wounds in your soul, which is composed of the mind, will, and emotions? What about “soul-wounds?”
Although catalysts come in many different forms, one common cause is the weapon of words. This point of pain can be long in healing or leave you with a permanent inner scar carried throughout life. I know because I carried a wound through childhood and into my teen years.
Here is how it was inflicted: “Hey, fat-so!” And “You’re too fat to play.” And “Hi, Fatty Arbuckle!” And when we chose teams, I heard, “Don’t pick her. We’ll lose—she’s too fat.”
The most hurtful remark happened when the boys would chase the girls on the playground. When caught, the boy kissed the girl on her cheek. The boy who caught me changed his mind. “You’re too fat to kiss.” He didn’t care that those words had sliced off a piece of my soul.
The name-calling went on and on, day after day, year after year. I responded with the rhyme my mother had taught me to say in my defense: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I concluded by laughing with them, to appear as if their words didn’t hurt me. Then I went home and ate a piece of chocolate cake and a peanut butter sandwich before dinner to assuage my inner pain.
And my rhyme of defense? What a lie. Those taunts were like jagged glass cutting up my soul. No blood—at least on the outside. My smile and laughter hid my embarrassment and horror about my appearance. I didn’t know it then, but self-hatred was taking root and growing in my soul. Fortunately, I never got to the point of wishing to harm myself (although I do know of some like me who tried). This wound was the only lemon in my otherwise happy childhood days, but it colored the tone of my life since I didn’t know how to fix the problem.
The solution, however, arrived unexpectedly when I turned thirteen. My mother began taking me to a dermatologist for my complexion, and he prescribed a diet as part of my treatment. Suddenly I wasn’t allowed to eat fried foods, butter, oil, peanut butter, or desserts. Sugary, buttery treats abounded in our kitchen due to my thin mother who loved to shop at the bakery each week, making my new regime a miserable challenge. But I wanted clear skin, so I bit the bullet and was faithful to my instructions. In the course of about eight months, I had lost more than fifteen pounds. I’m not sure if the diet actually helped my complexion, but it certainly had wonderful side-effects.
The bleeding of my soul-wound was arrested.
The compliments rang out from friends and family, and my school friends looked at me with respect instead of derision.
The wound began to dry up and form a scab.
I can still see myself looking into a full-length mirror at a fancy dress shop, staring at a thin girl wearing her first pretty dress. AND NOT LOOKING FAT AT ALL.
My self-hatred shrank into a little tumor, dried up and eventually blew away–not overnight, but throughout the next few years until my soul was healed. I’m sure that it was my relationship with Jesus that made my healing complete. Without Him, I would probably still be nursing scars about my self-esteem to this day.
Where is your point of pain?
In today’s culture we suffer from all types of wounds that cannot be kissed away or solved through dieting. We suffer through the stress of broken relationships and financial burdens, to name a few, which in turn can cause serious illnesses and disease. What is the answer to finding inner-healing?
The answer begins with a universal spiritual wound every human being shares. Because of Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, everyone’s spirit is born into sin. Think about it—do you have to teach a toddler to share…to be obedient…to be truthful? These sinful traits are inbred in everyone.
But the good news of the gospel saves us out of our original fate. That is why making a decision about Jesus is crucial to our lives on Earth and especially in eternity.
Where do we start? At the beginning, of course. We first must have a personal relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. It’s not a denomination issue—rather, it’s a relationship issue. Anyone can come to the cross of Christ from any religion–or none at all–to meet the living God.
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NASB).
At the point of salvation we receive the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth. He is our comforter and our teacher. Through daily prayer and study of His word, we develop that spiritual relationship where He will provide the answers we seek. We will find healing for our soul-wounds at the feet of Jesus. He comes running to us, picks us up, and lovingly asks us where it hurts.
When Jesus touches us, soul-wounds stop bleeding…. form a scab…and in time, disappear.
There is healing in the name of Jesus. Just ask Him now and see what He can do.
“…and (they) brought to Him all who were sick; and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured” (Matthew 14:35-36 NASB).