Ericson: Wounded Healers
“May our Lord Jesus Christ who walks on wounded feet, walk with you.
May our Lord Jesus Christ who serves with wounded hands, serve with you.
May our Lord Jesus Christ who loves with a wounded heart, love with you.
And may you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet.
And may the blessing of God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always. Amen!”
—Borrowed from Assisting Priest Bill Ericson, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, Gulf Shores, Alabama.
It takes some time to realize how our own difficulties—or what Stuart Hoke would call our own darkness—can prepare us to minister to others as well as to connect to Christ. When our woundedness is redeemed and worked through, we are called to reach out to others who also have been wounded. It usually is not helpful or at all comforting to know this while we are being wounded, or while the wounds are still raw and open. But with time, our prayers can become to make it to the recovery room and to move from victim to survivor—and then eventually to become healers.
The scars do not go away, but are a reminder that we share these wounds with Christ and with the rest of a suffering world. I do eventually give this prayer to spiritual friends who are seeking answers to their unreasonable suffering. Over time, many will be able to connect their wounds to Christ. There are no easy answers; but it helps to realize that we are not alone, and that the God we are trying to connect to also knows about suffering. God suffers with us and beside us, and reaches out to us through God’s own wounds to offer connection and healing.
This wood and bronze sculpture by Gurdon Brewster is called Welcome Home and is in the Chapel of Saint Augustine of Hippo at the former Cathedral College of Preachers at the National Cathedral in Washington. For so many years this cross has been my image of the wounded Christ caring for us in our wounds and teaching us how to do the same.
We were so excited to learn that the College is being renovated and reopening to become a new educational center.