Cutting and Healing

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You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.–“To Write Love on her Arms”

“…Created to love and be loved…meant to live life in relationship with other people…part of a bigger story…your life matters…” Bears a striking resemblance to other words that many of us hold dear: “…you are the body of Christ…we who are many form one body…dearly loved…bought with a price” A body. Connected. No divisions. We who are many are really one. We all belong to one another. When one feels something, we all do. Or should. If we’re healthy. And connected.

Cutters. People cut themselves…using knives, razor blades, broken glass, scissors, and nails, they slice bloody swaths across their bodies. Silent, desperate attempts to numb their emotional pain, to find relief from overwhelming grief/anger/depression, to feel SOMETHING when the weight of the world has left only emptiness in its wake…for a lot of reasons. Reasons “we” label as crazy. Reasons “we” don’t get. Reasons for which “we” think “they” should be locked up. Cutters are “emo” and dangerous and, well, just plain lunatics. Who in their right mind would damage their own body? Who in their right mind would deliberately inflict pain on themselves?

Who?

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” 1 Cor. 12: 12

Cutters. Believers cut themselves…using sharpened tongues, hateful words, judgmental glares, selfish & ill-thought-out actions, and outright hatred, they slice bloody swaths across the Body of Christ. Desperate attempts at self-validation, to find momentary relief from private demons, to gain the illusion of control, to feel SOMETHING when the weight of the world has left us angry and hateful and bitter…for a lot of reasons. Reasons “we” justify. Reasons at which “we” laugh lamely. Reasons “we” accept as if it‘s perfectly normal to hack ourselves to pieces while we remain placid and silent. Who in their right mind, after all, would damage their own body and deliberately inflict pain on themselves?

And the Body bleeds.

“To Write Love on Her Arms” is an outreach organization whose focus is healing with love–covering the arms and hearts of girls who cut with unconditional love, instead of with scars. They “get” the connection–they understand that the cuts which mar the flesh mirror the sliced and bleeding hearts of the girls whose lives they invade with love and hope.

A friend dreamed awhile back that he was watching a horrific crime. He watched a man stabbing and slicing a stranger to pieces with a huge knife. When he woke up, though, he was mystified about who had been the victim–he thought it might have been himself, instead of the stranger…or maybe both.

And isn’t that how the church, the BODY of Christ, should be? So connected that, when “someone else” is being attacked, we feel the pain? So connected that, when our tongue is the one doing the verbal hatchet job, we see the bloody slices on our own wrists? Shouldn’t our lives be that intertwined?  My heart is breaking right now for friends who are hurting…friends who have been sliced by hurtful actions from those who are seemingly oblivious to the blood dripping from their own wounds.

Are we truly “one body” as we’re instructed to be?  Connected? No divisions? We who are many are really one? And if we are, why do we so often act as if we aren’t?  And if we’re not acting like it, what went wrong?  And if something is wrong, how do we fix it?  And if we were to genuinely fix it…how strong we would be.  One body.  Unbroken.  Sharing the pain.  Sharing the joy.

We might actually look like the difference we want to make to/for/in the world.

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