Acts 26: The Wounded Healer

I have to admit I don’t think of Jesus saying much more to Paul on the road to Damascus than verse 15.  I have missed the great richness in verses 16-18 of this third version of Paul’s conversion in the book of Acts.  I was especially drawn this time to the first part of verse 18:

I will rescue you . . . so that you can open their eyes to enable them to turn from darkness to light. (26:18a)

Remember the context of this original story.  Jesus was saying this to a blinded Paul, a Paul who was experiencing nothing but darkness.

I imagine if I were Paul I would have been saying, “Open my eyes!  Help me to turn from darkness to light!”

Maybe that was the point of God’s choice to blind Paul.

Drawing on the work of Carl Jung, the now-passed Roman Catholic priest and scholar Henri Nouwen once wrote a great little book called “The Wounded Healer.”  His main premise is that just as we see over and over again in the Scriptures, God usually chooses to use “wounded,” broken people to become the “healers” of others.  Nouwen even argues that one cannot adequately do the work of a healer until we face, accept and even embrace our own woundedness.  Then, just like Jesus who allowed himself to be emptied of glory and wounded on a criminal’s cross, we are really prepared for God’s work.

God’s way of working is beautiful and poignant!

What did you see today?

Categories: Acts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Acts 26: The Wounded Healer

  1. Melanie Semore

    From The Message: “I am sending you off to open the eyes if the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light and choose light; see the difference between Satan and God and choose God.”

    I had not notice this part, either. And I continue to see that the Jews were less upset about the idea of Jesus as Messiah than about the “whole world” dimension of the gospel Paul preached.

  2. Pingback: The Wounded Healer | life at the intersection

  3. There is so much to comment on in this great chapter. I am struck most by how powerful the encounter with Jesus must have been. Paul swings from an ultra-conservative that opposed Jews who were not pure enough to a liberal who would reach out to Gentiles. He goes from hunter to lover and teacher. And seemingly in a matter of days. Only because of an encounter with Jesus. That is power! Amazing!

  4. Two questions for today:

    1. Why does Luke tell the conversion of Paul story three times in Acts? I imagine it has something to do with what Luke is trying to do with his book. But what?

    2. So is it a good or bad thing that Paul appealed to Caesar? It saved him, but it sent him away. It kept him from being murdered in Judea as would have likely happened. It moved him to Italy so the western expansion of Christianity could happen. But it disrupted his life and hastened his death. Good or bad?

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