Social justice is one of my gifts and I have seen it play out strongly over the years through community projects and startups. I hate to admit it, but I am an idealist by nature. I envision a world with no war, disease or pain. A world where sustainable energy can be harnessed easily and used ethically, where humans and animals alike are well fed and cared for. It is this love for humanity that got me participating in an event hosted by Amani Institute, a social innovation enterprise. One of the representatives gave a compelling talk about vision, passion and life purpose, topics that I have heard before. What struck me the most out of her presentation was a word she used- wound-gift.
Being a word I do not normally use in conversation I looked it up. A wound gift is a term used to refer to the notion that a major opportunity lies within our biggest personal challenge. History can attest to the fact that many prolific innovators at one point of their lives endured such distressing moments. Their choice to move on from these experiences and to use the lessons learned to improve themselves and society, gave birth to new ways of solving problems. Can you think of a personal challenge that has caused you tremendous pain? It could be a drug addiction, a life-threatening disease, a wayward child or even a philandering spouse. Whatever it is, the Bible reminds us that God comforts us, so that we can lend the same comfort to those who mourn (2nd Corinthians 1:3-4). Your pain can become a source of healing to others.
So, how do you begin using your wound gift?
- Acknowledge that a wound occurred
The greatest barrier to the healing process is denial. Denial is one in many forms of defense mechanisms. In order to receive healing, we must be aware that something is amiss. God, in his infinite wisdom created the body and the soul to react negatively to any kind of trauma, through pain. Like physical pain, emotional pain is a signal that healing is needed, so as to return to normal functioning. Because the resulting feelings from any kind of wound may seem negative, individuals tend to push down the discomfort not realizing that buried pain remains alive until we address it. Begin to see pain as a gift; God’s way of showing you that His desire is not for you to remain as you are but to come to the healing grace of His love.
- Acknowledge the power of God to heal
Scripture is not devoid of numerous instances that show the heart of God and His desire to heal His children. When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, He healed the brokenness of those who came to Him. One key to these healings was that the broken asked the Lord to heal them. Despite the fact that the wound may be as a result of our own life choices, we can still ask. Indeed, it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the ill (Mark 2:17). Who better to run to, than the One who can wash you and make you as white as snow? It pleases our Heavenly Father to forgive and do good to His children. In healing, we need to understand that God can choose to use different channels. He can choose to do a supernatural work in your body or mind, or He can choose to use the expertise of doctors and psychologists. As we pray for healing, we need to be open to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit as concerns this.
- Acknowledge your testimony of Grace
The events leading to the conversion of John Newton- once slave trader turned abolitionist, were marred by injustice, crimes against humanity and numerous atrocities. However, he would later be a primary influence in the life of William Wilberforce, a Member of Parliament who lobbied against slavery, resulting in the act being outlawed in Great Britain. Newton went on to write the famous hymn Amazing Grace, which has endured through time. Despite his earlier poor life choice, and the tremendous harm he caused to others and himself, God redeemed him. The amazing thing about grace is that you don’t have to live under a blanket of shame or regret, you can boldly proclaim to others the healing and forgiveness you have received from your loving heavenly father. Despite the origin of your wound, be it physical, emotional or spiritual, God is willing and able to turn it around for your good, not only for your own healing, but to countless other individuals longing to hear that there is hope even in the bleakest of situations. Today, God is calling you to surrender your wound into His hands. He desires to heal you and make a beautiful stained glass from your story, for His glory. Maybe it’s time to turn your wound into a platform of help?