A baggage of wounds…

In just the past three weeks, a variety of circumstances have put me in contact with people who on different and unrelated occasions a few years ago deeply wounded our family.

That was a bizarre and confusing time for us, as nearly every hurtful situation came from Christians and took us totally by surprise. Each hurt added to the one before and eventually they became a stumbling block to one of our sons, who remains skeptical about the church to this day.

Emily not only suffered with the rest of us in those series of hurts, but one of them was actually directed at her in a setting that was intended to be a manifestation of grace. Talk about being blind-sided. Just weeks before that incident, Emily and I together were publicly humiliated after our published interviews with Christian performing artists caused them and us to be unfairly judged.

It was in the very middle of this season that Louis lost his job after 23 years with the same company. We honestly felt like “please kick me” was tattooed to our foreheads.

Though we have moved on and the intensity of those hurts have greatly diminished, my recent encounters with some of those involved have been painful reminders that reconciliation never occurred and our relationships remain strained and awkward.

Emily begins her last year of homeschooling this fall. This will quite likely be the last year that I will be given so much of her time and attention to not only enjoy her companionship, but to impart knowledge and to (hopefully) be a godly influence.

A couple of weeks ago, I pre-ordered Chris Braun’s Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds. The timing seems perfect – providential. We may have “moved on” from that difficult season, but I fear that we may also have carried a baggage of wounds with us. I am anxious for Emily and I to study Pastor Braun’s book together when it is released later this fall.

According to Pastor Braun (A Brick in the Valley)…

“Unpacking Forgiveness presents the beauty of God’s grace and the necessity of forgiveness. But, it also teaches that forgiveness must take place in a way that is consistent with justice. We must move beyond a ‘feel-good doctrine of automatic forgiveness.’

My goal with Unpacking Forgiveness was to write a biblical, Christ-centered book that is accessible, but also one that is not trite or superficial. Only Christ and his Word can unpack forgiveness.”

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