“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21 KJV

Jesus was fully divine and fully human—in his humanity he experienced hunger, thirst, abuse, suffering and despair. In his divinity, he turned these seemingly broken situations into reminders of the fullness of his beauty. As one fully human, Jesus understood the suffering of humanity, so that he could identify with our suffering and draw us nearer to healing.

In The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen writes, “Every Christian is constantly invited to overcome his neighbor’s fear by entering into it with him, and to find in the fellowship of suffering the way to freedom.”

Jesus’ controversial and transformative encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well offers a powerful example of the wounded healer. She came out of hiding and used the power of her testimony to bring many in her ostracized village to Jesus. The Kingdom of God was hidden within her voice—calling out to those who have similarly woundedness. Humanity experiences suffering and it is the sharing of that suffering that will move us all forward.

God, may the story of my wounds bring healing to others.