We are the walking wounded, aren’t we?

I don’t care who you are, we all carry wounds. Some of us carry deep wounds from unthinkable cruelty. Life has been unfair, and we have suffered greatly. Others of us have managed to traverse life without a headline story, yet we carry wounds all the same.

We’re all in need of a little healing, wouldn’t you say?

I love stories of healing in the Bible. To see Jesus reach out and heal a leper, touch the eyes of a blind man so he can see, or let power flow from his robe to heal a woman of her bleeding tells us something about how things go when God gets his way in the world.

When Jesus is around, people are healed.

I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a Christ-follower when it comes to the practice of healing. I do believe that miraculous healing can occur through the empowered touch of Jesus’ followers today. In fact, I believe I witnessed the physical healing of a lame woman a couple years ago during a trip to Ecuador. But let’s face it, not many of us are going to get the privilege of imitating Jesus in this way. I’ve touched sick people before and all that’s seemed to come from it was my own throat getting sore.

But I believe there is a way that every one of us can be about the business of healing. Jesus healed this way too. He healed a Centurion’s servant this way (Matthew 8:5-13). He healed a royal official’s son this way (John 4:46-53). Jesus healed through spoken words.

Words can bring healing, can’t they? A timely affirmation. A gentle reassurance. An acknowledgement of a wrong. An offer of help.

What are some of the words that have brought healing to my own life? Here are some that come to mind:

“You know that’s not true, right?”

Have you ever felt confident and insecure at the same time? I feel that way sometimes in my job. Sometimes I finish writing a message or delivering a talk or leading a team meeting and I have that rush of satisfaction that comes from a job well done. But then there are times when I wonder if I’m full of crap. Usually it’s the times when I feel unacknowledged, undervalued, or overlooked and my mind starts to run wild with thoughts that maybe I’m wearing the emperor’s new clothes and don’t even know it. I was confessing some of these thoughts to a friend the other day. Thoughts that maybe I just wasn’t very good at what I do and that I wasn’t really bringing the value I thought I was bringing. Her response: “You know that’s not true, right?” Actually, sometimes I don’t know it’s not true until someone speaks those words into my life. Healing words.

“Your heart is good.”

Another friend of mine has repeatedly spoken a phrase into my life that I’m not sure is actually always true but seems to do something to me every time. Usually she says it after I’ve just finished ranting and raving about something that is under my skin. As my venting is winding down, I find myself in that place where rage turns to regret and I start to feel horrible for thinking the things I think and feeling the things I feel and worse yet, for giving words to them in a conversation. It’s usually in this most undeserved place that she will throw out these words of grace: “Your heart is good.” It’s a pretty humbling thing when you are at your ugliest and someone says they see good. Healing words.

“I love you.”

Of course some of the most healing words are the most familiar words: “I love you.” Sure, they can be said without thought or in a habitual manner, but when spoken with even the smallest amount of sincerity, I think they bring a little piece of healing to our wounded hearts with every utterance. I never tire of hearing them. Healing words.

Let me ask you today…To whom do you need to speak some healing words? Look around you. Who is wounded? Who is hurting? Who needs a little healing in their life? Here’s a hint…it’s everybody. What if we chose to be people who carried the presence of Jesus into the world by speaking healing words everywhere we go?

There might be just a few less people walking wounded.

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