Monday, March 25, 2013

The Road to Recovery Can Take a Lifetime to Walk

People struggling with a difficult past face a new challenge once they are recovering - everyone expects them to get better.

I recently had the privilege of hearing Dr. Gideon Strauss tell his story. He was in South Africa during the Apartheid movement and his life was damaged by a social system that tortured and killed innocent civilians. He told us how he read the Psalms to learn how to deal with his pain.

At the end of his lecture someone asked, "When did you feel whole, again?" He immediately responded, "I don't."

Rachel Held Evans has just finished a week-long series on the survivors of abuse (it takes a strong will to read these stories, but they are important), and a common refrain is that the victims, after finding the road to recovery through Christianity, are still healing for the rest of their lives.

Things that hurt us when we are young don't go away just because we grow up. They continue to shape us, and hold us back, as long as we live. The church cannot simply take away that pain, but we can walk alongside those who have been hurt so they won't have to be alone.

4 comments:

Gideon Strauss said...

"... life was wrecked by a dictator ..." may overstate it a little! More like "... life was damaged by a system ..." But very much yes to your main point.

Adam Jones said...

That's what I get for writing blog entries before I have coffee. Thanks - I updated it to be more accurate.

Thanks for your encouragement. You may not have realized it, at the time, but those two words ("I don't.") meant a lot to the people in that room.

Brian Franklin said...

I second Adam's encouragement. Coming from a committed Christian perspective, hearing those two words were strangely and powerfully comforting. Thanks, Gideon.

reneamac said...

Agreed. On all counts.