Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Wounded Healer

There is a thought provoking post at The RiverStone Journal worth a read. The author is looking forward to praying for others during a healing service, knowing full well the absurdity of that act knowing that she too is in need of healing. She says in part
What will happen is that I will go in on Sunday morning in full touch with the absurdity of the situation, feeling like a faker and a hypocrite. Then, during Eucharist, I will lay hands on the first head that comes before me, and I will say the prayer for healing. And I will be completely present in the moment, which is transported outside of space and time while still being firmly rooted in the here and now, and God's grace will flow through me. I will do this again and again, for each person who comes to me. When it is over, I will realize once again why I continue in this ministry. I am not a faker and a hypocrite. I do not have healing power. All I can do is humble myself, put myself into the background, and let God work through me.
In his book The Wounded Healer Henri Nouwen writes
In short: "Who can take away suffering without entering it?"

The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there....

On the other hand, it would be very easy to misuse the concept of the wounded healer by defending a form of spiritual exhibitionism. A minister who talks in the pulpit about his own personal problems is of no help to the congregation...Making one's own wounds a source of healing, therefore, does not call for a sharing of superficial personal pains but for a constant willingness to see one's own pain and suffering as rising from the depth of the human condition which all men share.
You may be wounded and feel that you have nothing to offer God. Yet it is your wounds you have to offer. By getting in touch with your own emotional scars, you can find the empathy and compassion to reach out to others. You do this not by dumping all your hurts on someone, but by being fully present with him or her in the pain, loss, loneliness, despair, grief or whatever else they battle. You have some sense of what they need for The Holy Spirit can use your own woundedness to guide you.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



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