A tough journey of social justice.

I have had a tough but rewarding journey over the last couple of months. I have had anxiety levels raise up in ways that I have never experienced before. The black dog has been nipping hard on my heels in ways that I just couldn’t shake off. And in many ways my though patterns have been caught up in the pain of the past.

Many of my readers know I suffered a debilitating illness 6 long years ago. But, what you may not know is that I am a survivor of marital abuse, which resulted in my experiencing many things that a person created in the image of God was never created to experience. There is a saying that time heals all wounds – but while there can be truth to that, the reality is that its not the time that heals all wounds – rather its how we process them that helps the healing process. I removed myself from that abusive marriage a little over 4 years ago, though the real abuse started near 6 years ago.

From time to time my memories go back to the words that were spoken into me like machine gun bullets. The memories are relived. It’s like I’m going back into the very essence of that situation. Though I am thankful to God that the power and the frequency of those times lesson more and more as time goes by and I rarely dwell on the past. This is helped by my distancing myself from my other blog which I linked to.

However within our Christian journey of life and faith, God calls us to a life of social justice, for inherent in the walk of faith, is the walk of social justice. And so in many ways I am called to not waste my experience – rather to use it to bring comfort to others who  likewise are going through, or have been through a similar experience. Earlier this year I was interviewed by a newspaper reporter about men’s issues, and you can read the article here which was published in the Good Weekend of the Sydney Morning Herald.  The other week I participated in a filmed documentary in which I was interviewed and today I spoke for a couple of hours with another reporter who also is doing a article for one of the major Sydney newspapers in regards to men who suffer abuse from women.

This afternoon I sighed a deep sigh of relief. It’s only afterwards that I realised just how large a load I had and how much I was ignoring the stresses that I was carrying leading up to these interviews. The reality is that I could just walk away. That would be the easy way out. In fact the temptation is to not just walk away, but to run as quick as I can from it. But to do that means the abusers win… Abuse is not a gender issue. It’s a issue of deeply wounded, broken and sinful humanity. And so despite the pain of the past, I too have a responsibility not to avoid it, not to run from or ignore it – but to use it for the Lord’s glory to help correct the ills of society.

Tonight I listened to a sermon on Abraham, and the preacher made the observation about Abraham where God called him to pray for Abimilech so that his wives wombs would be open. The point being that Abraham was walking in his own deep pain at the time because he too was sonless. The wife of his youth had never bore a child. And yet despite his pain, God still called Abraham to pray for another to have children and God answered that prayer many years before he gave Abraham his son and so brought healing to him.

What is the pain that you are carrying. What is the pain that you are trying to ignore, trying to run from, trying to pretend that you are over? Perhaps the very ministry that God is calling you to is to bring healing and comfort to others who are also going through the same painful struggle as you. And perhaps, despite the cost, God will through your sowing into the lives of others, bringing the comfort of Christ into their pain, bring healing into your own.

Jesus still bears the scars of the cross. I ask you, what scars do you carry, that you too are willing to allow God to use for his glory?

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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