Do you want to hurt or heal?

Photo of Robin Harris Kimbrough

Dr. Robin Harris Kimbrough

We cannot deny that many of us have had some hurtful things to happen in our lives. For most of us, these ‘hurts’ have been private or had a very limited audience. Some of us are very good at hiding our hurt, but truth is—pain cannot stay hidden. As medical professionals, we know that pain is a sign of being hurt. Pain can show up in our habits, relationships with others, our level of faith, and our neglect to pursue our divine destinies. Unfortunately, many of us have been living under the mantle of hurt/pain for too long. Yes, we will all go through the place where we feel abandoned, rejected, used, abused, guilty and ashamed. But God does not want us to stay in that place.

There comes a time when we must decide whether to hurt or to heal. When Jesus meets the man at the pool of Bethesda, we learn that the man has been going to the pool for a number of years, waiting for the waters to move so that someone may put him in so that he can be healed (John 5:1-18). When Jesus inquires of the paralytic about his condition, his complaint is that no one put him in the pool. In spite of the paralytic’s non-response to Jesus’ actual question, “do you really want to be healed,” Jesus heals him anyway. The man at the pool was caught between the question of whether to hurt or to heal. The answer seems obvious. We all want to heal, right? However, there is a struggle between hurting and healing. There exists an inner debate with the flesh and the spirit—to hurt or to heal.

Some people would rather live with the hurt, because they are waiting on the person who caused them harm to suffer in the same way. The anger and disappointment associated with the pain often makes it difficult to let go of the hurt so we may start healing. Sometimes hurt can be so deep that a person convinces him/herself that healing can never occur. Such people lives believing that they can never be forgiven or feel worthy of becoming a whole person. This is not true. We can be healed. We have to ignore these thoughts, which creep into our minds convincing us that we cannot heal. We can heal from addiction, any type of abuse, and from the most difficult suffering resulting from various types of losses in our lives.

We can experience healing—if we come to a place where we admit that we are in need of healing. In order for an alcoholic to begin the healing process, the alcoholic must first admit to being an alcoholic. It is not easy to confess one’s need for healing. The human part of us wants to go around like we have everything all together. The truth is all of us have some places in our lives, which are in need of healing. Otherwise, we would be robots. Yes, it is hard to come to this place—because we are so busy and focused on healing and helping others. We must remember that a wounded healer also needs healing and help. This healing does not come in the form of prescription drugs or surgery on the body; its source is God’s grace and love. There is no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. The good news is that we do not have to wait on someone else to make it happen. Jesus is present, and is willing and waiting to heal us.