Walking Wounded

“Mama, what does lame mean? Dada said the rocky horse went lame.”

“When a real horse or animal is lame, it means that animal cannot walk anymore; something is wrong with their legs.”

Daniel thought for a minute. “But the rocky horse doesn’t have legs. How did it go lame?”

I snickered, “Dada was making a joke. People say their horse is lame when it can’t go anymore. The rocky horse can’t go anymore because it’s broken.”

As the lightbulb came on for Daniel, it also came on for me. We walk around wounded all the time. Emotionally lame. Beaten up by circumstances, abuse, neglect, and fear. Spiritually limping. Harboring questions and doubts about God’s love, faithfulness, goodness, and fairness. Mentally weak. Overwhelmed by responsibilities, decisions, and obligations. Physically exhausted. Bodies bent under the weight of the spiritual, mental, and emotional overload along with any other physical ailments we might already have.

But we keep trying to walk even though we are wounded. And as we go, we bleed our brokenness on others. Through our harsh anger. Through our emotional extremes. Through our protective hardness. We might put the balm of religion on the wound from time to time. Or the balm of friendship. Maybe even the balm of rest.

But we never stop.

And we never give our wound a name. We never call it bitterness. Or unforgiveness. We never call it insecurity. Or fear. We just keep walking. Hoping the occasional ointment will help. But the wound keeps getting larger under the protective layers we place on top. And we dare not look at the wound, because the tears might overwhelm. The emotions might be too big. We might just fall apart.

So, we never stop. We never name the wound. Because if we would name the wound, we could then treat the problem. Instead, we push the hurt aside until the wound becomes so big, it controls us. Controls how we see the world. We create protective boundaries. Isolate. And we go through the motions.

Lame. Limping. Weak. Exhausted.

Wounded.

Then what happens? “The rocky horse can’t go anymore because it’s broken.” Eventually we lose ourselves. Our passions. Our love. Our belief. Our faith. Our relationships. Our hope.

We will never experience life to the fullest if we aren’t wholly there to enjoy it. We must slow down, stop, and name the hurts. Then we need to take time to deal with them. Find a counselor, pastor, or friend. Go to church and connect with other believers. Hit our knees and do business with God. Healing will never happen until we stop and take care of ourselves. Let’s stop walking wounded.

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