Sacred Wounds

When I find myself nursing regret for the fifteen years that my active alcoholism stole from my life and bemoaning the late start of my career as a writer, I try to remember Larry Lee’s graceful, grateful way of accepting the circumstances of his own deeply troubled life. He sees those circumstances as probably the only way that a hardheaded young man could have found the grace of God.

I try to remember that arrogance, selfishness, isolation, and fear of life ruled my thoughts and actions before alcohol brought me low.

The wound alcohol inflicted was a sacred one that enabled me to find the humility to open myself, however hesitantly and intermittently, to life’s beauty and God’s truth.

I don’t believe that there’s a single person on Earth who doesn’t bear a sacred wound. We all carry the pain we need to humble us and open us to joy.
How to Believe: Teachers and Seekers Show the Way to a Modern, Life-Changing Faith

Jon Spayde’s use of sacred wound draws me. Maybe it’s because of my own coming-to-terms with chronic pain; maybe it’s because of the sacred wounds of others I’ve been reading in spiritual autobiographies.

God has a way of using even the ugly things in our lives to turn us towards him. He allows no wound or pain too big to love him through and in.

I draw confidence from 1 Corinthians 10:13:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Temptation often comes to me wrapped in a wound. Physical. Or emotional. Or mental. But none are beyond my ability to resist—thanks to God’s faithfulness to me. My faithfulness to him follows in verse 14:
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

To endure my sacred wounds in faithfulness, I need to run away from self-pity, self-centeredness, self-anything, and draw near to God instead. It is there I find healing.

Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
James 4:7, 8a


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