- The young wife who was instructed by her pastor to return to the husband who beat her because God wants women to submit.
- The other young wife who – after sharing with her small group that she and her husband had decided to separate – asked her to leave their small group.
- The young gay musician whose church fired him when his secret was revealed.
- The older man who was humiliated before a church council with accusations of stealing from a business partner and then publicly cast out of the congregation. It was found later that – actually – the business partner was stealing from him, but no one ever apologized or welcomed the banished man back.
- The (many) young men and women whose memories of church include sexual abuse by a pastor or youth leader.
- The young woman who shared with her pastor that her father had abused her but was told she must have done something to entice him.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
And I’m not even talking about the little wounds:
- A child wearing her soccer uniform to worship (because she came from a game) who was told during The Passing of the Peace that “I see you didn’t have time to dress for the Lord today.“
- The childless woman on the church playground who was told by a church lady that God rewards the faithful with fertility.
- The new member who overheard two long-time members in the Ladies Room shred another church member with gossip.
- The Church Elder who sabotaged the new pastor because he never wanted A Lady Minister.
Maybe you yourself have been wounded by the Church. I am so sorry if this has happened to you.
Carol Howard Merritt‘s new book is part memoir, part spiritual reflection tool, and it’s a stirring choice for both personal and group reading. While a book about personal wounds could inspire us to sit around complaining about our negative experiences, it instead offers hope and resources for healing. Each chapter ends with exercises that both set the stage for recovery and offer opportunities for relationship-building if using this book with a small group.
Especially in these days when we often find ourselves anxious, Healing Spiritual Wounds offers calm for the soul. It would be an excellent Lenten book study choice. Seriously – it would make an excellent Lenten book study choice.
Read it, my friends. It will inspire lament, forgiveness, and community.