Saturday, June 11, 2011

Healing Abuse and the Cross

Steven Tracy has written a phenomenal book entitled Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Zondervan, 2005).  I hope to do a fuller book review/notice in the future but for now I wanted to post a selection that pertains to the cross of Christ and the healing of abuse.
The most painful, vexing questions I've had to field as a spiritual shepherd have come from men and women who have been physically or emotionally broken by suffering and evil.  No human will ever have a satisfactory answer to the weeping young woman who asks why God allowed her to be molested.  Such a question simply cannot be answered to anyone's satisfaction.
God didn't choose to explain the mystery of suffering and evil to righteous Job, and he hasn't chosen to explain it to us either.  But neither has he left us fumbling alone in the dark.  The longer I study abuse and minister to victims, the more convinced I am that the fullest divine response to suffering and evil is the cross of Christ.
As abuse survivors learn to appreciate and embrace the cross, they will be drawn to a loving God.  The life of the apostle Paul provides a great example.  In spite of intense and repeated persecution throughout his ministry and physical abuse that ultimately cost his life, Paul's spiritual strength and equilibrium came from his fixation on the cross.  (p. 175) 
More and more, I'm coming to realize that the cross is the center of healing for everything.  Dr. Tracy's discussion in Mending the Soul shows us how the cross can become the point of healing for those who have been abused.  The gospel of Christ crucified and risen is indeed "good news!"