In Chapter 6 of Healing Your Church Hurts, author Stephen Mansfield states that it would be wonderful if pain simply was pain and that was the end of it. Reality is much different. When it comes to emotional pain, the greatest damage often is what continues to resonate in our soul when the feeling of pain has subsided.
Stephen cites Christian writers John Eldredge and Brent Curtis. In their book The Sacred Romance, they describe the message sent by our hurts to our souls as “the message of the arrows”. The arrows of those responsible for our ministry downsizing or vocation loss pierce our souls. But it is the message about our lives attached to those arrows that outlives the pain of that arrow. That message enters our souls and begins spreading its damning message into our hearts, often doing the most lasting harm. This message in turn summons other similar messages from previous arrows fired into our lives.
As we push the splinter of our woundedness to the surface and start to reclaim our wholeness, we can reject the message of the arrows and conform our memories to the truth. Stephen concludes:
“Look at the messages of the arrows, decide what is true, and do the work you already know how to do in order to stand against the lies and the undue shame.”
Today’s question: What is the predominant message attached to your vocation loss arrow that needs to be conformed to God’s truth? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The Tribe of the Doomed”