When Healing Seems Impossible
by Guest Blogger Doug Hutchcraft
This is probably not the first or last article you’ll read about the George Zimmerman trial. The questions and confusion can be maddening: Was the shooting racially motivated? Was it self-defense? Sadly, we will probably never know the vital details of that night.
What we do know, as a country, as individuals – are the raw, deep emotions resulting from that “not guilty” verdict are all too real of a reminder of just how much anger, suspicion, and hurt simmer just beneath the surface in our relationships with each other. Whatever “side” you’re on, one thing is clear – it seems only a miracle could bring both sides together.
Maybe you feel that way today about a broken relationship in your own life. I know I have. Is there any hope for people groups, for individuals that have historically so emotionally injured each other that a permanent break seems like the only answer?
I think there is hope for relationships that look like they can’t be put back together again. I’ve personally witnessed healing happen between people separated by backgrounds, ethnicity, past hurts, even abuses. There is no “magic formula” here, but I’ve found these three phrases can be vital in beginning the healing process in our relationships:
1) “I was wrong.” Maybe three of the most difficult words in the English language to speak, but so much more powerful than “I’m sorry.” Sometimes to admit our mistakes takes an almost superhuman amount of humility. But wow, doing so starts to break down walls.
2) “I’m changing.” “I’m sorry” is a great first step, but for real healing to happen, the person or people group you have hurt needs to know it’s not just a one-time moment of feeling bad for the hurt you’ve inflicted.
3) “I mean this.” What are the specific steps you will be taking to help restore this relationship? Communicate those to who you’ve hurt. In a conversation, in a letter – just be honest and thorough.
In what seems like a hopeless world, it’s possible to be a person that holds out hope, that initiates change. That starts with a change in you, in me, first.