I remember a time not too long ago driving in my car and just weeping. Going nowhere, I simply wept for an hour, wept for someone in my life who was really struggling and in a very low valley. I used to never cry, I thought it was a sign of weakness and that men weren’t supposed to cry.
Isn’t that what everyone tells us or at least is implied? God has since Fathered my heart and softened it. He’s helped me feel. He’s helped me love more deeply and in so doing, to suffer, and to grieve. It’s hard to describe this journey, but it has involved allowing Holy Spirit to move in my heart more, spending more time in prayer, engaging my story, and naming my wounds.
Are you affected by the pain of the world around you?
I think truly loving and suffering goes hand in hand. Nicholas Wolterstorff in Lament for a Son says this: “But we all suffer. For we all prize and love; and in this present existence of ours, prizing and loving yield suffering. Love in our world is suffering love. Some do not suffer much, though, for they do not love much. Suffering is for the loving. This, said Jesus, is the command of the Holy One: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ In commanding us to love, God invites us to suffer.”
Are you affected by your own grieving?
When was the last time you truly wept? Wept over the pain of a sibling or good friend, wept over how the devil so often prevails, wept over the lostness and hurt of the people sitting around you at the coffee shop, wept over death, wept over the shackles and cages that bind so many, wept over your own woundedness?
What does this have to do with you as you travel?
My hope is that you open your heart to view the world with new eyes. That you will do something from the pain and hurt you see around you as you travel. That the emotions elicited would prompt you towards action. Perhaps you feel nothing. Nada. You’re numb. If you want to, tell the Father where you’re at and what you want. Moreover, ask Him to give you tears, to give you empathy, to give you deep, gut-wrenching compassion.
My hope is also that as you are away from home you would explore your own woundedness; at least begin the process. Similarly, ask the Father where you’ve been wounded in the past. Where you’ve been sinned against, where you’ve experienced shame and powerlessness. Likewise, your time away can be a time of healing if you want it to.
John Eldredge rightly says, “A wound that goes unacknowledged and unwept is a wound that cannot heal.” Similarly, there’s a lot more going on in your heart than you may know. You have unacknowledged and unwept wounds.
My prayer is that Holy Spirit would begin the process of softening your heart and bringing you to a place of naming and grieving. For your own freedom and for the freedom of others.
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