I have found in men’s work that men like the truth straight, rather then having it sugar-coated. Every man I have ever known has had to face failure, disappointment and woundedness. So instead of lamenting the fact that life is hard, we should embrace trails, because they teach us humility and honesty. So let face it – life is hard and we are not in control. Every man needs to come to the realization as Richard Rohr observes that, “the way up is the way down”. In this regard our “wounds” especially those that are like arrows that pierce our souls, can become our “sacred wounds,” wounds that shape our Christlike character. How does this happen? Let me share three insights, by focusing on the pain stored in our souls due to our wounds.
First enter your pain. The arrows that pierce your soul cause deep pain and woundedness. The reality is that pain is stored and buried “alive” in our souls. Unless it is acknowledged, faced and tasted it will only fester and morph into anger and resentment. When you have a tooth ache you go to the dentist. Why do men resist facing their inner pain? I would suggest two factors: first male pride and second our lack of modeling regarding the handling the male emotional life. So men, ask for grace and mercy to face your pain. You might need some one else to help you access the pain. But embrace the pain
Secondly, when you have cleared the space by acknowledging and owning your pain, invite Jesus into the pain. I can not tell you how important this practice can be in healing the pain. Remember men, it is only the Holy Spirit who has access to the deepest parts of your soul, where in those dark corners the pain in buried in stinking piles. Jesus announced early in his ministry that the Father had, “sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, ‘This is God’s year to act.'” (Luke 4:18-19 – The Message). Trust me – Jesus will bring the healing need, if you give him the pain. He is able to create a space within that manifest light rather then a fearful darkness.
Thirdly, your heavenly Father, will gracious help you rewrite the script regarding the pain that has been stored in your soul. There is a freedom, light and peace that comes into that formerly dark, stinky space. The focus is no longer you and the nursing of your pain, but rather the healing that Jesus can bring. You become a living witness to the transforming, resurrection power of Jesus. You will be able to journey with other men in their pain, helping them to excavate all the puss from their painful wounds. You will become what Henri Nouwen referred to as a “wounded healer.” There is no greater ministry among men in our day then that of being a healer of the broken hearts of men. Your wounds become “sacred wounds” that God uses in the lives of other wounded warriors.
Matthew West in his song “The Healing Has Begun” put it well. “There is a world full of people dying from broken hearts, holing unto their guilt, thinking htey feel too far. So don’t be afraid to show them your beautiful scares. They’re the proof, you’re are the proof.”