Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Touching Our Wounds

From Befriending The Stranger by Jean Vanier:

"This (Samaritan)woman also lives within each one of us;
she is the wounded, broken part of our being
that we hide from others,
and even from our own selves.
She symbolizes the place of guilt in us
from which are born many of our attitudes and actions -
consciously or unconsciously.
This sense of guilt can even urge us to be heroic and generous
in order to redeem ourselves.
It can also push us into anger
and dependence on drugs and alcohol.
If we do not let God penetrate
into the shadow areas of our being,
they risk governing our lives.

I remember talking about the Samaritan to a group
in which there was a woman with a serious alcohol problem.
She used to go through times of abstinence
but then would fall back into drinking.
She would stop again and again and then start drinking.
After my talk she came up to me and said:
"Now I understand. There are two women living inside me.
The one who drinks
and the one who, when she is not drinking,
refuses to look at the wounded part of me,
as if it was too dirty for God to love.
I deny that that part exists
and I only speak to God about the bright side of me.
I understand now that I have to let God meet
the wounded, broken woman inside of me
and let him enter into al lthe dirt inside me."
Without realizing it and in her own rough language
she was uttering the words of John in the prologue to his gospel:
'the light came into the darkness.'"

Taken from Befriending The Stranger By Jean Vanier

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