Everybody’s Got A Wound

As I was working last night, I saw that someone followed me on Pinterest. As I clicked on the email that announced the follow, it showed some recent posts that she had made.

Need You Now by Plumb

One of them jumped out at me. The picture above seemed to say, “Chris, there are so many hurting in ways that most don’t know about.” It was as if God was asking me to remind people that there are those around you who are hurting.

(If you click the link, and then the pic inside of Pinterest, it goes to a pretty powerful song.)

In fact, it may just be you. Every single person has a wound of some sort. And if they don’t, it’s only a matter of time before they do. I have heard some boast that they’ve never fallen on hard times, only to fall shortly there after.

Growing up it was cool to act like you had everything together. Now, more than ever, I understand that so many hurt in so many ways. That none of us are alone. We all have wounds that may not have healed yet.

As a leader, it didn’t take me long to understand that there isn’t a “drop your wounds here” box outside of every office building. My team, if they were hurting, brought those pains to work.

If they were here to comment, I think, I hope, they would tell you that I focused on helping them heal those wounds. Why? Because at the end of the day, I would rather be guilty of focusing on God’s children, instead of my sales.

As a leader, you have to understand that your team members are human. They make mistakes, and they feel with everything in them. And sometimes…sometimes it’s up to you to help them.

The most profound thing I think I ever learned came from my Pastor’s wife. The incredibly sweet Montel Hardwick put her arm around me once and said, “Chris, be there when they’re hurting.”

Question: If we’re being honest, how many times in life did you wish someone came along side you and helped you heal from your wounds? 

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56 thoughts on “Everybody’s Got A Wound”

  1. I went through a significant time of pain a few years ago when my wife was hospitalized. I’m so thankful for friends and family who came around me and my family. They definitely helped us through the healing process.

  2. One of the coolest things about working at a Christian nonprofit is how people do help care about each other, pray for each other, and help each other through the tough times. I rarely found that in my two corporate jobs.

    I think that is a big part of why this tribe is so incredible too. Chris, you lead the way, and we are all here to learn and excel as leaders, and yet we all pray and support each other through the wounds. Means a lot, and helps us be better people.

      1. I know – I am not usually comfortable asking for prayers or help, but everyone here makes it seem natural. And I love knowing what people are struggling with that I can pray for. Hope your son is better, by the way.

        1. I don’t typically ask either, but you’re right, its easy with these folks. And Cash is doing alright. About the same so far. Bad cough, bit of a temperature, not sleeping a whole lot. We’re almost through what the Dr. said the worst of it should be though. Thanks for your concern 🙂

      1. Lily, you just reminded me of one of the connections I made through counseling. There is a verse in the Bible about us being like jars of clay… I realized that if we are broken, but have God in us, His light shines all the more through the cracks–the brokenness in our lives. God can use the most broken pieces of our lives to show his glory and to reach others!

      1. It was actually a God thing – was in a very toxic situation and just felt pulled to this ministry through a notice in my church bulletin. Looking back, I realize I was meant to be there at just that time. God’s timing for sure.

  3. That is the exact song that popped into my head when I saw the picture! LOVE that song!!

    You have written about something that is close to my heart. I have written on it a few times in my blog, most recently (though from a different angle): http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/dont-do-it/

    I have been through a number of wounding situations that, unfortunately, at the time I could share with only a select few. And some stayed that way even after the “storm” was over. I know how much I WISHED I could have someone there to figuratively hold me. So my heart breaks for those who go through trials, especially trials they feel they cannot share.

    Here’s a quote:
    “Our life is full of brokenness-broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.”
    -Henri Nouwen

    The world is FULL of brokenness. but….GOD IS GOOD!
    So let’s go out there and be “Jesus with skin on” for those who need to heal….
    Love this post–Thanks, Chris.

  4. This is an interesting post because as a perfectionist, I have a tendency to hide whatever wounds I experience, because I assume that a) it will cause me to lose credibility and respect, and b) it’s my problem to deal with and the fact that I’m not means I’m not where I “should” be (should is a dirty word, but I still use it, unfortunately: http://southwesternadvantage.blogspot.com/2012/08/dont-be-should-head.html) in my growth and development.

    As a result, the people around me that I work with try to hide their wounds, probably for the same reasons! And then I get frustrated and can’t figure out why they won’t open up to me. No one wants to be treated by a doctor who doesn’t know what it’s like to be sick, and even though I know that intellectually, it’s really hard to live it out practically.

  5. Hi Chris… you’re post actually spurred another thought for me as well because I was recently reminded there’s a flip side to that as well. I think it’s important to stop and recognize the joyous moments as well.

    I was reminded of this last week. My business is launching a new website, one we hope is going to help our sales via improved SEO… much improved SEO! Anyway, needless to say we’re anxious to launch, but the night before it was supposed to go live our web developer came to us wanting to delay the launch by a week or two.

    He was writing the email while his wife was in labor.

    Even though I was really excited about the launch, I told him to put it out of his mind… not to worry about it… and go enjoy the experience with his wife.

    It stinks having to wait, but I genuinely want him to cherish that moment.

    Reading your post today makes me think the same thing is important to consider as a leader. To come along side your team members in helping them celebrate truly important moments in their lives.

    –Tony Gnau

  6. This post made me think of that other one about a year ago “The Power of Pain”. Here is what I wrote then, and I’m being lazy and reposting it right now because it still applies. It’s about healing your wounds through a forgiveness prayer. A forgiving leader will pass this on to those around him/her. Being vulnerable is very scary, but so is being hurt and alone.

    Here’s my one-year-ago post:

    “In Jesus’ name, I set you free. You do not owe me anything, any more.”

    God has loved whoever has hurt you since they were in the womb and He has seen what others did to them to hurt them. This person you have to forgive may be your 15-year-old self. Don’t allow others to sin against you. Set boundaries with those who are negative and drain you. Choose the relationships, situations, friendships that give you life. You are very loved and He has called you by name and there is nothing that can take that away from you.

  7. Chris
    Powerful post!! I did a talk last night to a group of women about overcoming adversity. It was incredible when I started pulling stats for the talk to demonstrate we all have painful times in our life when difficulties come our way and that many times several areas in our life are affected.
    It is amazing when people open up ti discover how many of us have wounds that are not visible on the outside. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what initial are behind your name or hat your life looks like on the outside – we all have struggles.
    I will be saving this post as a reminder to have empathy versus impatience.
    Many thanks!
    Live beyond awesome.
    Jen
    Twitter: @TheIronJen

  8. Oh man, Chris, tons of times. Here’s the challenge, I think alot of times we act like we have it together because we don’t want to come across as a whiner or needy.
    Another reason I think we act like it’s all together is most of us probably don’t have a lot of people around us who will truly listen and truly care. We have “fair weather” friends. And so sharing our hurt not only doesn’t help, many times it’s made worse by those who don’t care or want to care.
    Great post Chris, we definitely need to be more in tune with others and be mindful of when they may be hurting. Even a smile, or just a random text to say “hey, thought of you, how you doing?” can be HUGE when someone’s hurting!

    1. So true about the random text. It’s one thing to ask when you see someone, but it means so much when you haven’t even seen them lately, and you contact them with caring in mind.

    2. Or, people don’t share because they’re protecting others, or are afraid of receiving negative feedback.
      I like the reasons you gave, Mark 🙂

  9. As the facilitator of a women’s Bible study, I have to remember this every week. The study is designed to take 8 weeks, and we are in week 7 but only on lesson 4. Why? Sickness, death, pain, family difficulties. . . among the 8 of us, 6 are dealing with HUGE problems. So, each time we meet, I re-evaluate what we need to be doing. Relationships trump religion, needs trump schedules. At the same time, I have to make sure we aren’t becoming a faux group therapy session.

  10. Honestly Chris, it’s more times than I can recount. From horrible breakups to job loss to struggling with personal demons. My heart has cried out for someone to walk alongside me.

    That’s why I want to be there for others when they’re struggling. I want to be able to show them someone cares.

      1. Thanks Lily. One of the darkest periods had to be a breakup that had me cutting ties with many people I looked up to and related with. And it seemed there was no one reaching out, in fact, it seemed others were pushing away. That’s the hard part!

  11. Chris,

    What is 33 1/2 years times 365 days?

    You ask “how many times in life did you wish someone came along side you and helped you heal from your wounds?”

    The answer to that math problem is the approximate answer to your question.

  12. Our people need us, desperately. They miss their moms, they wish their dads had paid more attention to them when they were 13 and needed to know they were beautiful, they’re 40 and unmarried and thickening around the middle and wondering what the heck? I never thought it would be this way.

    They need us to value them. To challenge them. To help them heal, through the work, through the shared mission, through the love of something greater than themselves. Christ.

    Yep, everybody’s got a fried egg. Some wear them on the outside; some wear them on the inside. (Ancient Bette Midler reference, her introduction to John Prine’s song “Hello In There.”) Youtube link to Prine singing it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ85Hep0kD0

  13. Quote from Eleanor Roosevelt… It seemed pertinent:

    “A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”

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