One of the things I’ve learned from both combat lifesaving and my own personal journey is that the deeper and more severe the wound(s), the more extensive and intrusive the remedial action and treatment.
After the initial triage and first aid comes the long and challenging road of recovery.
As Christians, part of our job is to be the healing hands of Jesus. That means having a genuine and authentic understanding of the variety and degree of wounds.
Just like the body, the human mind and soul can be wounded. People who experience severe physical trauma often require reconstructive surgery, prosthetics and a robust routine of physical therapy. They slowly learn to relive and rebuilt their lives despite the damage and develop new skills and survival instincts.
Likewise, those people who have experienced wounds and trauma to the mind and soul also need a comprehensive care and treatment plan comprised of counseling, therapy and faith, combined with a supportive cast of friends and family willing to assist on the road to recovery.
These wounds, which are in the mind and soul, are often very deep and the result of horrors both seen and experienced; they are the tragic and traumatic events which inflict wounds that are often hidden in plain view.
As Believers, we need to embrace and include those who are on the healing journey. Let’s not shy away from them. Let’s integrate them.
A fighter who has a twisted nose, walks with a limp, and has a few scars on his forehead tells me, that he or she is seasoned and experienced. They know what it’s like to get knocked down…way down…lower than most people. Yet here they are, standing tall and proud. Shoulders back, chin up and ready to go again.
As Christians, we want people like this on our team!
We want the steely eyed fighter who knows what a beating feels like, who’s been bloodied and battered and still comes back to fight again.
These people don’t quit; they never say die and they never surrender.
So, when this person comes to us with a deep and personal story of overcoming severe adversity, let’s be discerning enough to recognize some things:
- It took courage for them to share their story; honor and recognize that courage. They didn’t have to share their story with YOU, but they did. They shared out of a sense of trust. Treat the story with the respect it deserves.
- Often people will share their story of personal loss/tragedy in an effort to foster support and enlist the genuine help from others in carrying their burden. That doesn’t mean they expect you to fix them…just be a good listener.
- Many of these brave people have seen more tragedy and loss in a short season than most other people ever experience in a lifetime. Thus, they tend to be more reflective and introspective. They look at life through a different lens.
- People who walk with a limp and carry scars want to be used for good and want to give back in meaningful ways. Don’t count them out. They need to know that they are not BBR (Broken Beyond Repair).
- Take the time to get to know them. They are some of the bravest people you’ll ever meet. They are often a storehouse of experience and knowledge. More than likely, they’ve walked though things beyond your worst nightmare. If they are willing to share their unique experiance, leverage it! Your team, ministry and even yourself personally will be enriched and encouraged by their tenacity and faith.
The people who have the battle scars and broken bones will often walk with a limp, but they have the most to give.
They have a story of overcoming events that would have made most people quit.