Story Matters

Intro

Take time to interact with the resources below.  Why?

Story

Your story is, at its core, a love story.  A search for love and belonging.  As you watch this video, think about your story, the victories and failures, celebrations and grief.  This is what God can bring truth to as the Counselor.

The Sacred Wound

 

Only the wounded physician heals. –C. G. Jung [1]
When life is hard, we are primed to learn something absolutely central. I call it God’s special hiding place. The huge surprise of the Christian revelation is that the place of the wound is the place of the greatest gift. Our code phrase for this whole process is “cross and resurrection,” revealing that our very wounds can become sacred wounds, if we let them.
No surprise that an unjustly wounded man became the central transformative symbol of Christianity. Once “the killing of God” becomes the very “redemption of the world,” the pathway was revealed. Forevermore the very worst things have the power to become the very best things. Henceforth, nothing can be a permanent dead end; everything is capable of new shape and meaning. There is no advantage to playing the victim, and we are forever warned against victimizing others. Henceforth, we are indeed saved by gazing upon the wounded one–and loving there our own woundedness and everybody else’s wounds too (John 3:14, 12:32, 19:37). One’s world is henceforth grounded in mutual vulnerability instead of any need to have power over one another.
This is the core meaning of the Christian doctrine of Trinity–the inner shape of God is mutual deference and honoring among three, not self-assertion or autonomy by one. [2] God is “an event of communion” and perfect vulnerability, not an old man sitting on a throne. All creation is a replication of that foundational pattern. When Pope Francis first bowed to receive the blessing of the people instead of just giving his own blessing, he was bodily illustrating this wondrous divine revelation, which the church itself has seldom understood.
I usually find that most great people still carry a significant personality flaw. It is fairly predictable. St. Paul himself, clearly flawed, humbly recognized that God had given him a “thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to buffet me” (2 Corinthians 12:7), which he says was necessary “to keep me from getting too proud.” In most wise people I know, their authority and wisdom comes from the struggle with their wound or some essential conflict. Material moves from the unconscious to the conscious through conflict and struggle, hardly ever through perfect coherence or ideal performance. The Jungian aphorism holds true: “The greater light you have, the greater shadow you cast.” The search for the supposedly perfect is very often the enemy of the truly good. [3] All “important” people must daily recognize their own imperfection and sin or they become dangerous to themselves and others.
All scapegoating, the process of both denying and projecting our fears and hates elsewhere, only perpetuates suffering. The scapegoat mechanism is hidden in the unconscious; it proceeds from our unrecognized but real need to project our anxiety elsewhere. [4] Unfortunately, there is no elsewhere in the spiritual world. Either you transform pain within yourself or it is always an outflowing wound. You are transformed when you can refuse to project your anxieties elsewhere, and learn to hold and forgive them within yourself, which can only be done by the grace of God–and which grace is always given.
Jesus didn’t project the problem on to any other group, race, or religion; he held it and suffered it and thus transformed it into medicine for the world. He neither played the victim nor created victims, which is the modus operandi of much of the world. Jesus revealed the redemptive pattern, the “third way,” or what we call the Paschal Mystery. The significance of Jesus’ wounded body is his deliberate and conscious holding of the pain of the world and refusing to send it elsewhere. Jesus’ wounds were not necessary to convince God that we were loveable (atonement theory); his wounds are to convince us of the path and the price of transformation.
Jesus agrees to be the Universal Wounded One and thus to reveal God’s willingness to share in our plight. Christians are the strange believers in a wounded healer, even though they seldom seem to appreciate the implications of this for themselves. If I were to name the Christian religion, I would probably call it “The Way of the Wound.” Surprise of surprises, Christianity is saying that we come to God not by doing it right (which teaches you very little), but invariably by doing it wrong and responding to our failures and suffering with openness and awareness.
Jesus’ wounded body is an icon for what we are all doing to one another and to the world.
Jesus’ resurrected body is an icon of God’s promise, response, and victory over these crucifixions.
The two images contain the whole transformative message of the Gospel. [5]
The Sacred Wound
Friday, October 16, 2015

 

Dia

In this movie clip from Blood Diamond Dia, the young boy, had been taken by evil soldiers and brainwashed him to become a child soldier.  He was confused and hurt.  His father finally catches up to him.  This is how our Good Father comes to us, to speak truth into our hurt stories to bring restoration.

 

Key Points

Review the key points for this section.

 

 

Counseling:
What you believe about yourself was handed to you by others
Dislodging false beliefs is the work of the Counselor
We must ask God to show us our hearts are good, and that our hearts do matter to Him.

Journal Questions

Pick a few of these questions to react to.  Write down your unedited responses.  Why?

 

What you believe about yourself was handed to you by others

Have you embraced the reality that your story matters?  Take a moment and remember.  Victories, failures, celebrations, grief, wounds and encouragement.  Who are the characters in your story?  What was your childhood like?

What are some of the words you would use to describe your story?  Peaceful, joy filled, safe?  Painful, tragic, angry, alone?
If God is walking beside you, so close that you can feel his present, and he tells you, “Tell me your sorrows.”  What would you say in reply?
Are you aware of how your heart has been assaulted over the years?  Can you recall the words and events when you were shamed, belittled, accused, assaulted?
What did your family teach you about trust?  Does trust come easily to you?  Why or why not?  What core beliefs have developed about trust throughout your life?
Think about the course your life has taken.  Was it your desire – or your family’s desire for you?  Do you even know what to do with your life?
What dreams and desires, gifts or unique qualities have you been wounded over, felt shame or embarrassment about, or just thought weren’t worth much?  It might help to ask Jesus:  “Show me, Lord, where my glory has been wounded, where I have lost heart over the years.”
Dislodging False Beliefs is the Work of the Counselor

What issues have pinned you down over the years?  What places do you need to go back to, if not literally, then emotionally?  What places in the heart do you need to invite Jesus into?  Maybe it’s a memory, or a certain timer in your life.  Or maybe it’s something nagging you now, an unnamed fear, an anxiousness, anger, or discouragement you can’t seem to shake.  Can you name them here?

List the places in your life that wish were different.  How did they get off track?  What beliefs/agreements have guided you in these places?
We Must Ask God to Show us Our Hearts are Good

What would it look like to have this kind of relationship with God, in which He is counseling you and leading you in your story?  Write some things down.

Have you begun to cultivate a relationship or two where you can bare your heart to others. And they to you?  If so, where do you need to go next in your relationship?  What do you need to bring before them in your own heart’s journey?  Is there something from this process you need to share with hem, ask their thoughts about?
If you do not have any relationships in which you can be vulnerable, why not?  What are you waiting for?  Ask God who that person might be.  For some, you might want to seek out a trained counselor to spend some time with.
What questions or desires do you want to take to God?

Solitude

Find a quiet space and time to spend with God.  Ask Him questions and then listen to God and your own heart.  Have your journal ready to capture what surfaces.  Why?

As you some quiet time with Jesus, remember your story. Where you come from and what you have been through. If you never have before, consecrate your story. Pray the blessing of God over your story and just be grateful with Him in your story. Think about those places that are wounded and have been lied to. Invite Jesus to replace those lies with truth.

 

Worship

A few times a week pause your life to worship and connect with God.  Recalibrate what is most true about you, the world and God.  Why?

Out Of Hiding

Grateful

As you watch this video, read the words out loud as your prayer.  Allow yourself to feel the emotion of each sentence and really thank God for your story.

Take a moment to describe your takeaway from this section in the comments area below.  What did you learn?  How can you apply it in everyday life?   Why?