Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Wounded Healer

Snow, a long, long time ago in Monroe
A long time ago, when snow used to fall in Michigan during the winter, when children got sleds for Christmas and got to use them, when men wore snow boots, and snowblowers fulfilled their dreams, I read Henri Nouwen's The Wounded Healer. I hung my ego on the branch of that cross and, by His stripes, got healed.

 4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
- Isaiah 53:4-5

This was Jesus' healing methodology, his healing way. Jesus would heal our bleeding woundedness by his bleeding wounds. So why not, Nouwen taught us, adopt the Jesus Way of Healing in our redemptive mission to humanity? This is upside-down, counterintuitive, inverse-hierarchical stuff. Through Henri's deep writings God has worked to bring restoration to many souls. His The Inner Voice of Love was a surgeon to my spirit.

Now, in his posthumous Spiritual Formation, we see that Henri remained a student in the Jesus School of Healing Ministry. He writes:

"When I think about what it means to live and act in the name of Jesus, I realize that what I have to offer to others is not my intelligence, skill, power, influence, or connections, but my own human brokenness, through which the love of God can manifest itself. Ministry is entering with our human brokenness into communion with others and speaking a word of hope. The great paradox of ministry is that when we minister in our weakness, we receive from those to whom we go. The more in touch we are with our own need for healing and salvation, the more open we are to receiving in gratitude what others have to offer us." (p. 63)

When we're weak, He becomes strong in and through us.

Now let the weak say "I am strong."