I suspect that, at some point in our lives, most of us have probably read “Footprints.” We’ve all had times in our lives when we felt that God was close to us – and we’ve all had times when we felt that God was far away. I’m sure that we could all point to times of hopelessness and despair in life, and that we could also point to those very special moments in life when we felt that God was walking right beside us every step of the way. And, of course, as we reflect upon the central-message of “Footprints,” we’d have to admit that it’s comforting to know that Christ picks us up and carries us through life — when our burdens become heavy and when specific situations in our lives overwhelm us.
But, as we begin this journey together, I’d like us to think, instead, about “Fingerprints.” I think we all realize that we are deeply connected to others, and that other people put “fingerprints” – both good and bad – upon our lives. Strong family ties and lasting friendships with others leave us empowered and filled with life. Relationships with people who hurt us – either physically or emotionally – leave “fingerprints” that heal very slowly, if at all. And, of course, one of the great challenges in life is one that calls us to learn how to grow and move forward in life, in a positive way, whether the “fingerprints” that have been placed upon us by others are good, or bad.
So, let’s be honest with each other….
We’ve all been hurt by others, haven’t we…? Sometimes, people that we know quite well betray us. Some of us have “fingerprints” because we’ve been either physically or emotionally abused by someone who was “supposed” to love us. Some of us may have even been deeply hurt – or victimized – by someone that we don’t even know. We can be hurt as children – as teenagers – as adults – as parents – as siblings – and even as grandparents. And the “fingerprints” come in so many shapes and sizes! But, they all leave their “mark” upon our lives in a significant way.
And so, with all of that in mind, I’d like to invite you to join me on a journey that I’m going to simply call: “That We May Be Well.” On this journey, I’m going to invite you to explore some of the deepest hurts in your life – and I’m going to challenge you to join me on a path that leads toward healing. We’re going to explore “Four Farewells” that are absolutely crucial to the healing process when we’ve been hurt – and we’re going to discover, together, that it’s truly possible to move toward healing and wholeness even when the hurt has been severe.
I’ll freely admit that I don’t have all of the pieces in place, yet – and that honest admission might send some people away. But even after making such an honest admission, I can also promise you that as we accompany each other on this “journey toward healing” we’ll discover timeless truths – and, perhaps, even a deeper sense of the presence of very One who has promised to walk beside us (and even to carry us when the load becomes too heavy!) in life.
And so, this is your chance to jump on board and begin this journey of healing. Please feel free to add comments – or to share insights that you’ve found helpful. If you know someone who has been deeply hurt along the way, please invite that person to join us, too. This is a “team” project. We’re all going to share a common journey – even though we start in so many different places – “That We May Be Well.”