Ouch! Most of us were born equipped with the ability to scream out for help. We weren’t taught to say Ouch! We just did. It was a normal natural sound to tell those who cared about us that we needed help. Right?
Our love letter (Bible) repeatedly tells us to cry out to God when we are hurt; no problem is too small for God. God is never too busy to listen or answer our prayers. God has an infinite amount of time to spend with each of us. God loves us for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from before time to this day forward until death when nothing will keep us apart.
If we’re not wired to withhold, then why is it so difficult to express our pain? Proverbs asks “when will we wake up”. It implies that if we are hit and claim it doesn’t hurt, we must be drunk, something must be numbing the pain.
“They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up…” Proverbs 23:29-35
During our journey for the greatest truth, LOVE, we are called to make an honest assessment of unhealthy attitudes, beliefs and habits (sin) blocking our path. The Holy Spirit is trying to lovingly shake us; to wake us up.
Rachel Held Evans shared on her blog that the #2 reason she left the church was “because when we talked about sin, we mostly talked about sex”. Sex is not a sin, adultery is a sin, not the unforgivable sin, it is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
While some of us may struggle with issues of sex; all of us value but struggle with honesty. If we say we don’t we are lying. Sin in its most simplest form is lying; to God, our neighbor or ourselves.
God is Truth. Satan is the great deceiver. Satan deceived Eve, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, you, me…. Satan wants us to lie. Satan rejoices when we lie.
God wants a relationship with me. He wants me to love my sisters. Satan wants to build a wall (sin=lies) between us. God wants me to cry out for help. Satan wants me to believe (lie to myself) that I’m OK, I don’t need help (God/sisters), I’m not broken, I’m a good (lie) person…
So as we begin this journey let’s dispel one of the very first lies we’re taught as children-“you’re OK, you’re not hurt, shake it off, don’t let anyone know your hurt, don’t show weakness…”
One life lesson I can boldly testify about is:
If I pretended it didn’t hurt
when someone was trying to hurt me,
they always hit me again-harder!
This week I watched Glee with my daughter. The episode was about domestic violence. One of the biggest complaints about domestic violence victims is their failure to call out for help, or worse, their apparent pre-disposition to recant. Do DV victims really have a corner on denial and recanting?
This is not another domestic violence post. This post is about being honest with ourselves and our sisters about our pain. It’s about re-learning how to say Ouch!
Want me to bring it home? All the infighting among sisters in the church. Have you ever worked really hard on a project and encountered these bee…utiful sisters:
- Dreamer: Lots of ideas, no help!
- The Fan: Lots of compliments,no HELP!
- Exploder: Explodes/ goes ballistic -No Help!
- Helpless: Feels too inadequate to help- can’t help.
- Complainer: They hate every decision but won’t quit!
- Sniper: They pop by to swoop in to bite you or sabotage the project.
- Kill Joy: “It would have been nice if…”
I’m sure all of us can come up with more. And if we can be honest with ourselves, we may have played these roles deliberately or subconsciously at some point during our time on earth. Have you ever found yourself saying or even thinking,”Doesn’t look like she’s so perfect after all!”
We could put all the responsibility on the ‘real’ sinner, make pledges to stop hurting one another and end this post here but we’re in search for truth. Who is the ‘real’ sinner? In truth, most of us are taught, denial, to “take the higher ground, don’t let them bother you…” How many times have you said or heard a badgered sister say,”they don’t bother me, I don’t care what they think…” And the nasty girl defends her behavior, “Ms. Perfect is controlling. Its her way or no way. I’d like to be involved but she won’t let me. I have ideas too. You can’t hurt her. She probably doesn’t even know I exist…” Even when our bodies scream out frustration, we recant with our words. And what happens?
We resolve ourselves to avoid that sister, pray harder, care less… Does everything magically get better? No! Can you see the walls of hurt?
We can’t move. We’re suppose to run and win the race together. Acts 20:24 “My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” How do we do that? We start by being honest. We start by sharing our weaknesses, we start by saying Ouch!
How to respond? “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”