In today's world it's becoming nearly impossible to have a thoughtful, rational, mature, calm conversation about the things of which we are deeply convicted. If you're anything like me you've likely wondered why this is so? Is it as simple as the polarization of opinions or is there more?
I remember hearing Andrew O'Brien, the Director of Substance Abuse Rehabilitation at UPMC Chautauqua WCA, speak on the topic of the opioid epidemic. He said, "We don't have a drug abuse problem... we have a trauma problem." His words have never left me. His point is that, when you and I experience trauma in our lives, we need to be healed, unfortunately, we reach for false healers. We reach for agents of harm in exchange for agents of healing.
In all of history, there is only one healer, Jesus. Only He can heal us from the deep and seemingly lasting effects of trauma.
Today, I believe that much of the angry verbiage that fills our less-than-helpful attempts to solve problems of division regarding race, equity, and abuses requires healing of those who have been traumatized. I know, because I, who has experienced my own variety of trauma in my life, have come to realize that you can't fight your way out of trauma, you need to place it in the hands of Jesus. Jesus doesn't jump into your boxing match and fight, He asks for us to hand over our demands for restitution and walk away free.
Perhaps even the sound of that makes your skin crawl. "Then how do we get justice?" The road to true justice comes through the actions of God, not the actions of me. There are some people from whom I will never receive an apology. There are people who have harmed me that will never change. I've seen enough years on this planet to know that some systemics evils will not be erased in my lifetime, and perhaps never. That sounds like a dooms-day curse. What are we to do?
Live HEALED. Don't live wounded. Don't let trauma win the day.
Let Jesus in to heal and remove the need to demand justice. Let us open our eyes to see that everyone has lived out their own trauma. We are typically deceived into believing that everyone else but us somehow has life better. If someone has stolen our opportunity, we feel that no one else in the earth has ever had opportunity stolen from them.
Whatever the trauma, our path to freedom and reconciliation is healing, not demanding. The peace that comes with healing is a sign of restoration. There is a bitter aftertaste that comes from getting something because we demanded it.
Dear friends, live HEALED.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.
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