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Celebrating the Wounded Healer in All of Us

I am a wounded healer.  And there is a good chance that you are too. I am continually astounded at God’s willingness and ability to use broken shepherds to serve as conduits for healing broken sheep. 

This month, we celebrate and praise God for each one of you who serve God’s sheep with the healing love we have graciously received from our Redeemer! So, wherever your place of ministry is, whatever you are doing in the name of Jesus, for the glory of the Father, we thank you sincerely for your willingness to remain faithful to your call.  May you end each day in joy as you hear the Master whisper, “Well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful ... enter into the joy of your Lord,” (Matt. 25:23).

The communities we serve are increasingly trauma laden. People everywhere are yearning for safe people and safe communities where they can be seen, accepted and healed. More than ever before, people are experiencing debilitating fear, insecurity, anxiety, and despair. They often have no idea that there is a sustainable remedy to be found.  They are disillusioned by the self-medicating substances and activities that only temporarily numb their pain and leave them devoid of lasting relief and the comfort their souls long for.

Sin and its consequent self-focus are the original trauma.

Jesus traded His royal attire to put on flesh to fulfill His prophesied mission, “The Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound ... ,” (Isaiah 61:1).

I am best equipped to share Christ’s mission with passion and lead a broken soul to the ultimate Remedy, after I have taken my own trauma to the Trauma Traumatizer.  To be a wounded healer, I must first name and acknowledge my own emotional trauma that cripples my ability to genuinely love and care about my neighbor.

For those who don’t believe they carry any trauma, I offer you my Trauma Test. It has not been empirically tested, but I assure you it is valid. 

If we can answer “yes” to the following questions, we do not have any trauma in our lives:

  1. I am flexible and can change my thinking patterns to renew my mind. (Eph. 4:23)
  2. I do not lie. (Eph. 4:25)
  3. When I experience anger, I do not express it ways that hurt other people.  (Eph. 4:26)
  4. I do not express corrupt or destructive words. (Eph. 4:29)
  5. The words that come out of my mouth serve only to edify others. (Eph.4:29)
  6. When I speak, I can extend grace to others. (Eph. 4:29)
  7. I can reject bitterness from my heart. (Eph. 4:31)
  8. I do not express wrath in my speech or behavior. (Eph. 4:31)
  9. I do not speak evil (gossip). (Eph. 4:31)
  10. I am kind. (Eph. 4:32)
  11. I am tenderhearted. (Eph. 4:32)
  12. I can forgive others. (Eph 4:32)

Your test results may surprise you, mine surprised me. If you answered yes to all the above questions, you do not carry unresolved trauma.  However, if you answered “no” to even one question, you have been traumatized by sin. Like me, you are in need of the healing touch of the Master to live out His priorities; loving God, loving others and loving yourself in like manner.

Thankfully, the Spirit tends to speak softly and tenderly, especially when we are not ready to see our own lives under the divine microscope. Trauma indeed has a way of crippling our ability to love the way Jesus exemplified in his life and ministry. The good news of Jesus Christ’s healing and transforming love is our best hope. The Father’s energy and passion is devoted to dispensing His healing and transforming love to broken by sin wounded healers.


César De León

North Pacific Union vice president for Hispanic ministries and ministerial director