To follow up on my last post...(not to drag it out or anything..)
I had a great conversation with my mom a couple nights after what I call "The Disaster." We covered a lot of areas as to why this thing that happened bothered me to the degree that it did.
I basically stopped functioning for two days; though I was able to be up and about doing the common work I always do. But inside, I had a heartache I never felt before. It was both an emotional and physical pain. It never left. I would wake up in the middle of the night with this heart ache and tears would come spontaneously with absolutely no warning. It was as though I was grieving.
I had heard of people who lost loved ones suffering this sort of grief before...but over an article? I wondered what was wrong with me.
My mom brought up the subject of spiritual wounds and the fact that many (probably most of us, if not all) have spiritual wounds that need healing. Most of the time, we aren't even aware that they exist. Instead of calling them spiritual wounds, we call them "baggage" or "the past" or "bitterness" or even "pet peeve."
When I was being verbally attacked, I had feelings of fear that I haven't felt since I was a kid in school. The familiar palm sweaty, nauseated feeling that I was going to be humiliated in front of everyone. And as the comments and accusatory continued, the feelings and emotions I experienced became worse.
Somehow, this triggered past wounds that I had buried when I was a kid. I had been teased in school--though not bullied (although there were a few incidents that would be called bullying in today's terms.) I had learned to become quiet, for fear of being noticed and then teased. So I became known as "the girl that never talked."
I won't go into all the stories; I know we all have suffered teasing and maybe even bullying at some point. For whatever reason, I just wasn't able to handle it well.
Anyway, all of this made me feel like twelve years old again, and in a way, emotionally I was. That's the thing about insecurities; they are parts of you that have not yet matured and so also lack confidence.
Sometimes it takes something bad to happen to uncover a wound. It needs to be picked at, irritate you, perhaps even hurt you, to realize that your hurt is a little deeper than the average wound.
That, my friends, is a spiritual wound that needs healing. That's also actually a very good thing, as painful as it is.
My mom is part of a ministry group in her church called "door to door." It basically is exactly what it sounds like: they go from door to door, inviting people to their church. They actually have been very successful with this ministry, and have welcomed four people into the Catholic church this year.
But it also can uncover spiritual wounds. Though most people are either receptive, or else politely turn them away, there are some that become very, very, angry.
They shout in their faces about this or that about the church, or stories of abuse from priests even emerge. They are spiritual wounds, though they don't even realize it.
We can cause spiritual wounds in each other, just as we can cause physical wounds. Our words and actions were meant to glorify God, but we need to be careful about how we use them. Though sometimes our words will inevitably cause hurt no matter how we put it (as they say, the truth hurts!) so does judgment and condemnation.
Those two things should not be part of our words. And even if we do choose our words carefully, we have to watch our attitudes.
Do we look down on people? Do we pity them? Do we talk scornfully behind their backs or even in our thoughts? If so, then we haven't truly loved them. So our words won't do much good if it's not said with love, because people know the difference between love and hate (or "fake love.)
When all of this was happening with so much judgment from these people, I thought to myself ruefully, "Oh well, at least the suffering that these people are causing me will bring me to heaven!"
Immediately the next thought that flashed through my head was, "No, until you learn to LOVE the people that cause you suffering, then you will go to heaven."
That's true love, people. And so hard to do, because it must be done from a cross.
Once I realized that the people and comments had uncovered some painful wounds, I prayed for healing. Nothing fancy, as I still could not pray even about the pain. Words by themselves, were far too painful. Just simply, "Lord, please heal this wound."
He's working on it, I can tell. Because I'm starting to feel better. It still hurts, and it still wasn't ok. But, I'm beginning to come out of the thick of the fog and I can see things a little more clearly.
If I were to write that article again (and I wish I could because I still think it needs to be said), I would focus more that we, as parents, need to mindful of our childrens behavior and attitudes during Mass. It is so easy to let things slide. I know I do it here at home.
But at Mass? The behavior we don't allow at home like name calling, or hitting, or whatever it might be...the behavior that you know is "not your child." Though God is merciful (and yes, He is!), I want to bring my child to Jesus in the very best shape possible. As a parent, I know what "his best" is. I do know the difference between what he can control and what he can't.
Spiritual wounds. Do you have any? Has anyone picked at your wounds lately? Take advantage of the painful moment and ask God to heal you. No matter what the situation, or how humiliating, God loves you more than those people who hurt you. He won't turn His back on you. That is love! And love we must learn to practice with one another.