We had a major breakthrough recently in our Small Group, at Church. What happened
you ask? We started to break down walls. There was some crying, much sharing, and I hope it was just the beginning.
We, humans, are great defense builders. If there was an award for it, we
would be gold medalists! Each time we are hurt, we begin to build. We erect
walls around our hearts and arm those walls with fear, anger, shame, blame,
denial, and other weapons. Some walls are soft (made of sand) and others are
huge (made of reinforced concrete). Our outer walls are relatively weak and easy
to crumble. Have you ever seen a side to someone you didn’t know existed? You
saw their wall crumble. Chances are you saw a glimpse of who they really
The deeper we go, the bigger the wall and the more defenses. When we
slowly chip away, we usually come to the granddaddy of them all—the fortress.
This inner fortress holds our greatest "secret". Unfortunately, it also holds our
heart. Here is our poor heart trapped next to this dark secret. Maybe your
secret is your greatest sin, or maybe it is about abuse your endured. Under no
circumstances do we want others to see behind these walls. However, this means
others never get to see our hearts. It also means our hearts remain trapped in
this place, alone with little company but the darkness.
This is not a unique experience. Almost everyone guards the inner part of
themselves—your desires, wishes, dreams, fears, secrets. The process of healing
is diverse and multi-layered, but there are two things I know we must do. First,
tear down the fortress. Our heart cannot heal and escape the dark prison until
we completely shatter the walls. We must tell our story, repeat it and say it
aloud, until it holds no more power over us. This is the hardest thing to do.
Sometimes we go to a counselor and sweat through years of therapy and never tell. Sometimes we tell our closest loved ones, but this only cracks a window. We must continue to tell the story again and again. Until one day, it is no longer a secret. Sometimes we must shout it and other times it only comes out in a whimper. Not everyone you tell will be compassionate. Some will lash out from their own fear, anger, and shame. Others will be judgmental. That is okay, because you are not doing it for them. You are doing for you, and
possibly others you can help.
Second, we must pray. Here is where the beauty of a Small Group helps. The Church is a many faceted place. God created the Church as a gift to us. It is a place we come to worship Him. It is a place we come to welcome Him. It is a place where we have a weekly appointment with God. It is also a place where we can find fellowship with other believers. A Small Group is the height of that fellowship. It is where we can meet together with peers and share our sufferings, our praises, our needs, and our compassion. What a gift—to
have a place where we can finally open our hearts and begin to heal.
“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:13-16 NASB)
When we come together and share our needs, then we can begin to pray
for each other. The most powerful thing we can offer someone who is hurting, in
any form, is prayer--prayer for healing, comfort, joy, and peace. What a gift
from God, this community of believers and prayer!
Praying for you today,