What Makes a Hero?
It is easy to think of the strong, intelligent and physical attractive folks as heroes. But, as the question gnawed at me, I found myself drawn to Jacob. Yes, Jacob, the trickster, stands out to me.
We know many things about Jacob. He is the son Isaac and Rebecca, father of the 12 tribes of Israel and Esau’s younger twin. We sing the song, “We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.” Perhaps, one of the most fascinating stories of the Old Testament is when Jacob wrestles with God.
Jacob had courage. He was persistent, yet his wrestling with God didn’t leave him unscathed. In Genesis 22, we saw that Jacob’s hip was touched as he battled with God. As a result Jacob had a permanent limp – a source of pain.
In ministry, there is pain. The pain of disappointment, broken relationships and church hurt just to name a few. Like Jacob, we are challenged to move forward even in the midst of our pain. It is true we are all wounded.
Henri Nouwen writes, “Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”
I ask you, what is your limp? What wound/pain is God calling you to use for a greater good?