It is Satan who wants the church to deny what people are going through, because then the church will not listen to Jesus and learn from him how to minister to them. When the church makes it unsafe for people to bring their inner pain to Jesus, especially when it feels strangely like bringing a weeping child to him for comfort, these people never experience healing from Jesus, and Jesus never receives the glory of the healing he would joyfully, gently and most certainly give.
When we accept that the people whose childhood trauma caused something to happen inside them that feels like a little child that has never grown up beyond the pain that was experienced, we can keep asking Jesus what he wants to do about it. We can then follow him in ministry that may make us the target of scribes and Pharisees, and yet the friend of brokenhearted sinners looking for a Savior.
I do not need a biblical justification for something I can see. As the fossil-record shows me all kinds of animals God created that weren’t specifically mentioned in Scripture, so people’s stories show us all kinds of heartaches and wounds that are not specifically described in God’s word. If someone tells me that it feels like there is this little child inside them that cannot stop crying because of something bad that happened to it, I do not need to find a corresponding experience of this in the Bible before I help the person. What I do need to find in the Bible is the ample description of ministry to the wounded no matter how contemporary life would describe those wounds.
A couple of decades ago God gripped my heart with this Scripture as his declaration of how he would respond to anyone who came to him no matter what happened to be wrong with them:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
This Scripture tells me that I need to learn the way that Jesus releases the oppressed, even when the oppressed feel like it is some inner child that carries the oppression in a way that is distinct from the outer person who appears to have grown up. I need to learn how Jesus speaks good news to the poor in spirit, even when the poverty the poor in spirit feels is like an orphaned little child deep within the hidden places of their inner being. I need to learn how Jesus gives sight to the blind, even when the blind feel like a little child who cannot see Jesus for the darkness that they have hidden them in deep within themselves. I need to learn how Jesus would speak release to the captives, even when the captive who needs to hear such words of release feels far too much like a little one that has never known life outside the bars of its childhood trauma.
The church cannot tell someone: “You cannot possibly be oppressed in the way you describe because the Bible doesn’t describe that kind of oppression.” Rather, we tell people, “If that is the way that you would describe the oppression you live under, let’s bring it to Jesus who promises to “to set at liberty those who are oppressed”.
If you have been so protected by the grace of God that you have never experienced anything like what I am talking about, please open your heart to the fact that every church is within arm’s reach of people who need such help from Jesus. Since Jesus does his work through his body, simply ask Jesus how you and your church can be his arms to those who carry such things in their hearts.
From my heart,
© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)