And yes, I believe we are ALL wounded ... by so many things:
The meanness of others.
The thoughtlessness of others which might be more painful than the meanness if it means we are invisible.
Not getting things we believe we are owed or due.
Getting more than we think we are due (consequences).
Fearing that we are not "good enough" or important or have worth.
Fear of pain: physical, emotional, social, financial.
And, frankly I believe all those wounds are real, valid, rational. I have concerns about LIVING there, but we'll discuss that another time.
Today I want to consider that last item, fear of .... everything. For folks dealing with the aftermath of criminal behavior I see the fear being nearly consuming. When it blossoms from "nearly consuming" into consuming we become a part of the problem in sad and terrifying ways, which is why our human tendency to wallow in our pain is so very dangerous.
Victims and survivors of crimes have losses, from the loss of a loved one's life to the loss of quality of life to financial losses that can last decades. And in the wake of all that loss is the loss of security, loss of the belief that we can keep ourselves and those we love safe....and the loss of a sense of safety in our own homes, workplace or community...from bars to churches.
But here is the deal. That is also true for every person touched by the ever widening circle of fear and pain that emanates from a crime. First responders, neighbors, legal system participants from jurors to prosecutors to judges, attorneys, investigators, medical and social service professionals, churches, and corrections folks, those who commit crimes and those who are accused of crimes and their families. And lots of these folks can only hope to find any kind of justice if they wade into the swamp with the spectrum of victims. Today in my city we are reminded of that cost of that as a police officer succumbed to self-inflicted injury. Most folks in the legal system have three choices: (1) Ignore the pain, covering up with humor or gruffness; (2) Self medicate with alcohol, adrenaline or something even more quickly self-destroying; (3) Find some less soul assaulting profession; or (3) Crucify it. By that I mean have an experience similar to AA or NA, etc. where there is both a reality check (No you are not in control...but neither are any of us, my friend,) and a course of recovery in the arms of a healing and wise God.
Does that last sound familiar? Is that what we long for our incarcerated or criminally behaving loved one to "get"? Is this what we need ourselves?
So, no matter where we are in this life and the microcosm of life that is a journey through the legal system, the truth is this: we are all dealing with the same junk, with the same temptations to deal with the junk in ways both self-destructive and destructive to those we love the most, AND with God's ever-present love beckoning us no matter into what pain we have wandered or fled.
We are all in this together, my friends. And there is hope...abundant hope.....always.