So, I’ve been listening to the book “Barking at the Choir” by Father Greg Boyle. If you don’t know much about him yet, look him up.
One of his homies relates the story of how he was abused and tortured as a kid. From the age of 9, he wore three T-shirts to school. The first two weren’t enough to cover up the blood soaking through, so he put on a third. He did this up through much of his adult years, because even after the active abuse stopped, he was ashamed about his scars.
However, this gentleman says, “Now I welcome my wounds. I run my fingers over my scars. My wounds are my friends. After all, how can I help others to heal if I don’t welcome my own wounds?”
I think that’s pretty interesting, and potentially spot-on. To be honest, I am going to sit with this idea for a while, mull it over, and try not to interfere too much in the process of letting God speak to me about it. Because it feels like there is something profound there, something simple as well, if I can just see around that corner.
I get that we have will more empathy the closer our experiences are to the experiences of others. I get that sometimes we need to be in the same sacred spaces as others who have walked similar roads that we have. I get it.
I also know that in order to love and serve others, I don’t have to have the exact, or sometimes even similar, experience that they do. My scars don’t have to look like yours do in order for us to embrace one another and to share life together.
I’m just not sure about making friends with the wounds. About rubbing them with–what? Affection? With love? I’m not sure I am there yet.
But, I want to be.
So, I’m going to sit on this and in this for some time. Not so much so that it stops me from living my life, or from being healthy. I’m just going to give this idea room to grow, see where it takes me, if anywhere.