In second grade, I was running and tripped at recess. I fell really hard and badly scrapped up my face. It took some time for the big scab on my face to heal and I remember being really self-conscious about how my face looked. Every time someone looked at me, they would immediately ask what happened and I’d explain the incident at recess. I was really glad that the scab healed and didn’t leave a scar.
In contrast to the scrape on my face, I’ve had injuries that weren’t so obvious. One of the most difficult unseen injuries that I’ve navigated was a pretty intense concussion that I sustained during a snowboarding accident, some years ago. This was a really hard injury to navigate for lots of reasons, one of which was the “invisibility” of the trauma. People could look at me but would never know that my brain was injured because there wasn’t anything obvious to express my cognitive deficiency. However, the people who knew me at that time, could easily detect the brain injury whenever they talked or interacted with me – my abilities to focus, express myself, process thoughts in a painfully slow cadence, remember stuff and being chronically tired were very obvious.
I’m raising your awareness about unseen injuries because lots of people in our daily living have invisible pain. Some folks have physical maladies related to a variety of causes, but we don’t often see the evidence of such maladies nor their efforts to cope with the associated pain. Beyond the struggles people might have with physical challenges, lots of humans have injuries in their souls from traumatic experiences. Such traumas could include rejection, abuse, neglect, verbal and emotional wounds and lots more. The evidence of soul trauma can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, but at the most basic level, when we experience trauma, we usually revert to one of two things: fight or flight.
Consequently, when a person is combative and hostile (fight), it’s possible that they’re responding from an unseen injury, trauma from a previous experience that hasn’t healed. If a person withdraws and retreats (flight), they might be reverting to protection mode from an earlier trauma in their lives. So invisible injuries can be demonstrated in somewhat curious expressions.
With all of this in mind, let’s think about our own behaviors and instincts. When we experience trauma, do we respond with fight or flight? More importantly, let’s be sure that we integrate Jesus consistently when we find ourselves in the fight/flight mode. Remember that Jesus came to heal the sick, mend the broken, set the captives free and redeem us from trauma, grief, lose and everything the devil would try to use against us to cause us pain and destruction. Please consider these examples of Jesus healing trauma in the Gospels:
- The sinner woman in Luke 7 who washes and anoints His feet. Jesus forgives her of her sin and validates her existence amidst the hostility and rejection of religious leaders.
- The demoniac man in Luke 8/Mark 5 whom Jesus healed. This man was brutally tormented by demons and beautifully redeemed.
- The Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. Jesus comes to her at the well, in her chosen isolation and engages her in a conversation that results in her healing and her whole town coming to know Jesus.
- In John 8, the woman caught in adultery, publicly exposed and humiliated. Jesus requests that her accusers throw the first stone, if they don’t have any sin. One by one, the accusers peel off until only the woman is left with Jesus. He asks her where are her accusers and she replies that they have all left. Jesus responds in kind and says that He doesn’t accuse her either.
When we look at these people who experienced Jesus’ healing and redemption for their trauma, let’s be committed to letting Jesus work in our own souls to redeem and transform the traumas that we’ve experienced. If we don’t let Jesus help us with these traumas, then we run the risk of staying hostage to its influence and letting the trauma affect other people around us. Trauma that isn’t transformed will be transferred.
Thank you, thank you so much for these words of wisdom full of kindness & compassion. It brought me to tears as I felt the presence of the washing me (healing) with these words & His presence, like He was sitting in front of me wiping my tears away, wiping all those wounds & scars away from my past hurts. Making all so better. Love my Jesus & and you for doing what you do
and speaking your heart out. you never know who is out there needing to hear the healing word of God. So thankful for your message. May Jesus be pleased with you allowing Him to work through you. I believe He smiles wide when a willing vessel allows
Him to work through them. Thank you Sarah Bowling.