the glory of the wounds

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from the ancient Sufi poet Rumi who said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” 

But have you ever noticed that in the depths of our wounds, sometimes we don’t feel like there’s any light there at all? In fact, sometimes our wounds carry so much pain they only feels damp, dark, and cold. We can’t imagine the light of God there because the burden of the wounds feels too great. We think if God had come into the wound, He would have taken away the ache.

Sometimes we equate the ache of the wounds with shame. Because of this we believe we need to hide what we believe are our greatest shortcomings. So we stretch a perma-smile tightly across our faces, living in fear of being found out and discovered as anything less than perfect. To let someone see the pain and scars we carry through life seems inconceivable. What would they think of us if they knew? we wonder timidly. To cope, we end up veiling, masking, numbing, and doing whatever we can to escape the heavy weight we have attached to our wounds.

But applying white-out to the broken bits isn’t the gospel, friends. These pieces of you, the things culture tells you are undesirable - the wounds, the aches, the hurts, the scars - are all within you because they belong within you. Because these are the places where you can potentially come face-to-face with Grace. There is beauty in the wounds because your wounds hold the greatest potential for glory - His glory.

Jesus shows us the truth of this fact. Through His wounds, Light entered into our lives. Through His wounds came our redemption. This redemption couldn’t come without His wounds. The glory of God and His love for us was shown through the wounds of Christ.

Jesus still had His wounds after the resurrection (John 20:27). I think this speaks volumes. If the risen Christ who saved humanity still had His wounds, what does that mean for us in our human frailty? It means our wounds have a place in our lives. Our wounds belong. They aren’t something we need to hide or be embarrassed of. They are not our greatest shortcoming unless we allow them to be.

And that would be a tragedy.

If we stop there, believing our wounds are our downfall, we do a disservice to our hearts, to the world, and to God. But if we lift up our throbbing wounds to Him and allow Him to enter in to bestow on us His healing Light?

Well, then our wounds become hallowed, holy ground and a place of Glory. Our wounds become a place of sweet communion between our hearts and the One who loves us even unto death. Our wounds become a place of freedom. Our wounds become a place where we get to bring Light out into the world, to give hope to others who are lost in the belief that our wounds are what define us. 

So today, let us not shrink back from our wounds. Instead, let’s hold them up to God and ask that he use them as a place to enter deeper still into our hearts, into our lives, and as a place for the light of His glory to shine as bright as the morning sun.