The English mystic Julian of Norwich wrote, “Our wounds become our honors.” She didn’t hide them. She didn’t pretend her wounds would simply disappear. Nor did she allow them to debilitate or defeat her. Julian learned to carry her wounds with dignity.
I recently had the privilege of having a gentle and wise pastor spend 3 hours examining my life and praying for me. Towards the end of our time together, he described the wounds I’ve experienced in my life as “sacred wounds.” Honestly, I didn’t know what he meant by that, so I asked him to explain. He said that a “sacred wound” is a wound that Jesus has already entered into. It’s a wound we shouldn’t pretend didn’t happen or one that will magically disappear. But it is a wound that has been put into the hands of the Divine healer. It’s a wound that can now be carried with dignity.
I think it’s significant that the holes in Jesus’ hands and feet remained intact even in his resurrected body. And as it was for Jesus, it is for us. Richard Rohr writes,
“I think we carry our wounds until the end; they do not fully go away but keep us humble, patient, and more open to trust. The healing lies in the fact that our wounds no longer defeat us or cause us to harm ourselves or others. Wounds become our daily offering to God, and they develop in us compassion toward the weakness of others.”
May our wounds—our sacred wounds—become our honor.