Embracing Our Wounds As Sacred – Excerpt from my book – The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together – Last Day to pick up your FREE copy on Kindle!
by Mark Votava
- Our everyday lives will be wasted without grace
When we are angry, we cannot live into the gospel and become expressions of God’s grace as the body of Christ together in the parish. Our everyday lives will be wasted without grace for one another.
- Does not bring about the life God desires
“… for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires…” (James 1:20).
- You will hurt each other
New Monastics Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove put it this way, “… if you get involved with God’s people, you will get hurt. The Holy Spirit makes it possible – compels us, even – to share lives with one another, live together, do each other’s dirty work, offer hospitality, make peace, share money, raise kids together, start co-opts and serve our neighbors. But if you do all those things with broken people (and broken people are the only kind available), you will hurt each other. You will be betrayed in one way or another…”
- The body of Christ will wound us
These are tough words from two practitioners who know the cost of the communal imagination. We will become wounded and hurt in the process of being in relationship with others in our neighborhood. The body of Christ will wound us as we share life together in the parish.
- Reacting to our wounds in anger is not walking in the Spirit
Reacting to our wounds in anger is not walking in the Spirit. Responding in grace is. God’s grace is so much bigger than all our wounds. Christ showed immeasurable grace despite facing crucifixion.
- Our anger and bitterness can’t have the final say
We have wounded and hurt Jesus over and over again in our lives and he always shows grace. We need to imitate his ways and show grace to one another as the body of Christ in everyday life. Our anger and bitterness can’t have the final say. Grace must face our anger and overcome it.
- Becoming sustainable in all we do relationally
If we can imbue our wounds with the sacred, we will cultivate the communal imagination. We will become sustainable in all we do relationally. We will see relational revelations all around us in everyday life. If there is no sense of the sacred in our wounded state, we will soon become so angry and bitter that grace will not be found.
- Embracing our wounds as something sacred
Without grace, we will carry around in our veins nothing but poison. We will die a miserable death in isolation thanks to our tight grip on anger and bitterness. We have to find a way to embrace our wounds as something sacred and learn to express something beautiful through grace each time despite our hurts. It is an ordinary miracle of everyday life when we embrace the sacredness of our wounds together in the parish.
- Finding a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds
Franciscan Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, writes, “If we cannot find a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds, we invariably become negative or bitter …”
How can we find a way to embrace our wounds as sacred?