The Walking Dead (On living a wounded life)

Much like Haley Joel Osment, I see dead people.

It doesn’t take much to die out in the world-wrong person, wrong place, wrong time and BOOM! Your life expectancy comes to a screeching halt. From the quick and ruthless to the violently heartless, the painful deaths that destroy so many never end.

But I’m not a clairvoyant. There are just millions of people walking around dead. These aren’t suicides are even accidents. Somebody killed them years ago-some were murdered as kids. They talk to me, work jobs, have families, do hobbies, even shout at church. Yet emotionally, they are dead. Someone killed them with hurting words and actions.

Remember Lazarus in the New Testament? Jesus raised him from the dead! Yet, after Lazarus got up, Jesus had to command him to be unwrapped. So many of us are physically alive, yet wrapped up in the misery of emotional pain too deep and aggressive to bear.

And so we stop truly living. We insulate ourselves with meaningless rituals and brainless routines. We stand still, using all of our psychic effort to squash the hurts down into the recesses of our minds and keep them there. We cut off the world except for surface interaction, for fear that a stray word, hug, kiss, laugh, touch… for fear that anything could set off a torrent of feelings and we experience the hurt all over again.

Unfortunately, containment is not the answer. Healing is the only way and that requires pain. My daughter Haleigh fractured her elbow one summer, needing a cast for 2 weeks. Before her arm was placed in the cast, she couldn’t move her arm-it hurt too much. So my usually frenetic (then) five year old sat still rather than feel that hurt. The day her arm was set was tremendously painful for her-for a second, the pain of getting her arm back in the right position for healing hurt worse than the original break. Even after the doctor set her arm, Haleigh experienced bouts of pain, pressure as her arm healed itself.

And there is the lesson: in order to be set right again, you MUST walk through the pain of correction. You cannot walk around holding that emotional pain close to you hoping that it won’t hurt if you just keep still. You have to reset to heal. And that brief pain is well worth it. Haleigh has forgotten all about her episode except to remember that she had a pink cast. You, too, can heal and remember the past without reliving the horror.

God bless! Get up and live. The pain of healing is worth the rewards of abundant living.

Have you walked through the pain of healing in some area of your life? Share with us what it was like, and how you made it through to love, peace, and joy!

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