No. 335

You no doubt have heard the old saying, “Life is like an elevator. You can go up or down depending on which buttons you push.” While this is certainly true, have you ever thought about the fact that thousands and thousands of people across our nation have a wounded spirit because someone else pushed all or most of their buttons? If you or someone you love are carrying deep emotional or physical scars because of something that happened in the past, I believe you will really be interested in what I want to share with you in this edition.
This past Christmas my wife bought me a book on tape titled, “The Wounded Spirit” by Frank Peretti. Today Frank Peretti is a highly successful author and speaker and he travels all over the country speaking to thousands of people each year. What had not been revealed until recently is that he had a horrific childhood, as he had one unpleasant experience after another that made his life miserable. For Frank, the nightmare began the day he was born as he had a large tumor on the side of his neck and his tongue was so long that it stuck out of the side of his mouth and could not be retracted in a normal way. It was just hanging out there for all to see.
Soon afterwards the doctors began a series of painful operations to correct the problem with his tongue but, if I recall, this deformity lasted well into his school years. He said the scabs on his tongue and the flies were often the focus of ridicule by some of the other students. This combined with the fact that he was very small for his age made him a target of some of the larger boys, especially the jocks, who showed him very little mercy or compassion.
In spite of his unhappy childhood Frank Peretti persisted and today he is a highly successful person, but his deep emotional scars were still there below the surface. Over the years he had thought about speaking on this subject but didn’t think many people would be interested. He changed his mind when he was invited to speak at a conference in California where 1500 young people and their parents would be in attendance. The date of this conference was one month after the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado.
As I listened to the tape and thought about his story, I was reminded of some unpleasant events in my own childhood. There was a boy in the town where I grew up who always wanted to fight and he used to pick on some of the kids, especially those who were younger and smaller than he was. I was one of them. This went on for several years until I was physically as large and strong as he was. Then one day playing football I hit him so hard that he never picked on me again.
At this point I would like to ask my earlier questions again. Do you have a wounded spirit? Are there things in your past that have resulted in deep emotional scars that are still painful when you think about them? Believe me, God can heal those scars if you will ask Him, but you must be willing to forgive those who have hurt you. It is the only way to have real peace.
As Frank Peretti concluded his message to those 1500 young people he told them that one day there was a jock who said, “I am going to beat up Peretti.” However, before he made a move, a young man name John stepped between them and the jock backed off. He said that he has never forgotten this young man and the courage he displayed. What a difference it made in his life. We can all make a difference for someone when we are willing to STAND ON THE WALL...BE NOBLE. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)