God, the giver of all good and perfect gifts, gave me this very recently. It is to be read in the first person, i.e. as if I am saying this directly to myself:
My hurts are usually more about my own stuff and less about the stuff I think others are ‘hurting’ me with.
I do consider this a gem of God’s wisdom, as it was given to me, without thought on my account. I simply wrote the words down as the sentence arrived.
This is, of course, something I received for personal edification, but I’ve found the more I have written on these issues, the more God has been prepared to instruct me these ways with a purpose for sharing. Let’s consider what this might mean for all of us in general.
The Proximity of God and Our Brokenness
God is closer to us, in the mode of our being, than we readily think.
God reminds us of the distance from love our hearts are at in many of the hurts we are hurt by. When we are hurt, we are not experiencing the closeness of Presence of God’s love. This doesn’t involve the hurts of life like loss, abuse and neglect—everyone is hurt by these things. These hurts transcend our ability to cope.
But if we are hurt by people, God is using the hurt to remind us how far we still are from the essence of true love: a thing that can neither hurt nor be hurt. We think of Jesus, and though we are grossly imperfect in comparison, we know that he never hurt people nor was hurt (to the point of responding in aggression).
If Jesus is our goal can we settle for less than striving for his perfect best?
Our hurt comes from the distressed inner child within each of us, when brokenness was truly experienced for the first time, raw, and in the moment. We were reliant on others and they betrayed that reliance. It happens to every human being, because, no matter how good our parents and caregivers were, they made mistakes that affected us. Additionally, we must contend also with the broken nature of our carnal selves.
So, whilst God is close, so too is our brokenness. We can be led to love beyond hurt, or equally we can be led to remain in hurt, or shrink back in it, and thereby never gain access to love which transcends the effect of the hurt.
Agreeing Upon a Horrible Truth
Many will be vociferous about this: when we are hurt relationally, not including losses and significant abuse and neglect, like, when we have an option to not be hurt, there are unreconciled hurts within us to be dealt with. It’s our responsibility; being hurt is most often an excuse for not tackling the real transformative work God wants to get on with, within us.
Those easiest to hurt are those who are still hurting within; still battling the demons of childhood, to some extent.
Another way of looking at it is, if we have a safe sense of self we are not so much threatened by the hurt others inflict. We don’t respond unpredictably. And we can absorb hurts. A safe sense of self is close proximity to love, and love begets grace-filled responses.
The horrible truth for each of us is that where we are easily hurt, there, and there alone, is our starting point to seek God’s Spirit in commencing the healing process. The issue of hurt is not so much about what people say against us, or who they are, or how despicable they are, but it’s about our response.
Being hurt, this way, is seen as a boomerang; God is showing us where we have the opportunity to mature further. We often cannot become more mature unless we are prepared to grapple with the hurts of childhood in seeking to become transformed, more and more, as disciples of Jesus.
Being easily hurt within relationships can be a sign that we are at a distance from receiving God’s love. Our Lord wants to take us to a closer proximity to love, where we are neither easily hurt nor can we hurt.
When love is playing a rich role in our lives we absorb hurts most readily.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.