(February 23, 2008)

Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen believed that our wounds can be a source of healing for others. Not only do they help us become compassionate, but they humble us. As we work toward healing in our own lives, we can help bring healing to others.

I’m finding that so true for myself. Over the past week, as I was battling anxiety and depression, I worked on a devotional to bring to Living Room. The topic was “Coping with our Pain.” As I worked through my own pain, I found ways of helping others with their pain. I searched for healing and, through the pain I felt as I listened to last Sunday’s sermon, I gained a new level of understanding of what God’s love is like. This encouraged me and yesterday I did my best to pass my understanding on to members of the group. (a whopping 22 attendees yesterday – Wow!)

But in the evening, with it all behind me, I did not feel the usual joy I feel after Living Room. My depression was more severe and, what’s more, I had nothing I could do with it. In anguish I emailed my friend. I’m not one to isolate during depression. I have a huge need to reach out – to grab something that will keep me from sinking. Talking with her helped.

This morning I had a good quiet time with reflection and prayer. I decided I need to do my best to help others deal with their emotional pain, in the process finding healing for myself – always keeping God’s great love uppermost in my mind and heart – always sharing that love with others. I will be getting together with a few Living Room people over the next while, sharing with them, encouraging them as I encourage myself. We can encourage each other.