Too Wounded to Be Healed
“Wilt thou be made whole?" John 5:6
There was once in a large American city a certain African boy who had left home with his father's blessing. He came to America to escape the oppressive racial tribal prejudices of his native country in hopes of finding a new life of promise and opportunity.
Now the boy's father was special to him. His relationship with his father was very intimate and his father always accepted him for who he was. So special was his father that the boy wore a bracelet with his father’s picture on it to keep close to his heart. He wore it wherever he went as it gave him great comfort in the new country.
One day the boy went into a market run by Orientals. He found a banana he wanted and went to the clerk to ask for the banana. “That will be 30 cents,” said the clerk.
“What?” said the youth thinking he should have just been given the banana. “You must be a racist. I came here to escape such treatment. My father gives me all things freely.” And so he left the store in disgust.
But so this wouldn’t happen again, he went to a Hispanic office store to get a job as a stock boy to earn enough to buy the banana. So he asked for the job, again thinking it should have been given him for the asking. The clerk gave him a skills test to prove his ability at counting and sorting. But the boy, not being schooled enough, was again incensed.
“I can’t pass this,” said the boy. “You must be a racist too. My father would never make me pass tests to work for him.” And he walked out offended.
But so this wouldn’t happen again, he went to the local public school run by Whites where he could learn the skill to get the job to buy the banana. Happily, the school was free! But when he went for his first class, he had trouble seeing the small writing in the book. The teacher gave him an eye test and determined he had an eye focusing problem and so he could not take the classes.
“What? Are you people also racist?” said the boy. "My father would never tell me what I am incapable of doing." And he left dejected the third time.
Finally, so this wouldn’t happen again, he went to the local doctor who was Black like he—one of his own—to find healing for his eyesight so he could get the schooling to get the job to buy the banana. (The doctor too had left Africa and come to America for the same reasons--to escape his own country's prejudices and oppressions. And he too had a bracelet of his father.)
When the boy arrived at the doctor’s office, the kindly older man did his preliminary tests, only to determine that the boy had a case of pinkeye, which is contagious. The doctor told him, “Son, you have a case of pinkeye and need to come back after it is healed so I can minister to your focusing problem.”
The boy said, “Just as I thought! You are a racist like all the rest! My father would never send me away for any reason!" And he left there as he had everywhere else, considering himself unfairly rejected....
So offended was the boy at the “racism” and "judgments" and "conditions" put on him by everyone he encountered, that he never went back to the doctor. He never received the healing for his eyes. He never learned to count and sort. He never got the job. He never bought the banana.
And so at last the boy--unhealed, unskilled, penniless and hungry--died of starvation. He died clutching the bracelet with the picture of his Father--the One who would never reject him. It was all he had left, and it was "all he ever needed."
So it is in the Wilderness Kingdom of God.
Too Wounded to Be Healed - A Parable Explained (1)
“Wilt thou be made whole?." John 5:6
The recent article Too Wounded to Be Healed was unlike any other I have ever been led to write. It is a parable designed to speak to a level of hearing that words themselves cannot reach. And it did leave some heads scratching…
As you all know, this ministry is focused on helping saints who find themselves outside the mainstream church on account of their prophetic testimony and calling. It is to help isolated wounded ones find fellowship in prophetic truth and wholeness in preparation for the day we are made to become part of something larger than ourselves into which we truly fit.
Unfortunately though, I have had to deal with a certain reality in the course of this ministry. The truth is that many of us carry monkeys on our backs that prevent us from ever coming into that place of healing out of our bruises at the hands of the spiritually deaf. I have addressed many of these issues in Lessons from the Wilderness. One I did not speak to is the monkey of “self-fulfilling prophetic rejection.”
Self-Fulfilling Prophetic Rejection
I think we understand what “self-fulfilling prophecy” is. It’s our predicting a future outcome about ourselves which we already have the power to predetermine based in our attitude. And it is usually a negative prediction. A common example of this is the statement. “I just know I’m going to fail at this.” And in fact, the failure does come to pass. But it was already predisposed to come to pass because of the negative expectational power of the attitude behind the prediction. The power of the fulfillment is inherent in the prediction.
There is a similar phenomenon in the wilderness regarding prophetic rejection. When prophetic saints fail to overcome rejection through positive hope in the Lord’s acceptance of them, they become predictive of further rejection to come. But it is a prediction they themselves bring to pass by subconsciously setting themselves up in advance to be rejected. The rejection then becomes a secret badge of a warped sense of spiritual honor (the “martyr complex”) by which they pat themselves on the back for “once again bearing the rejection of the Lord.” And so a cycle ensues in their lives where they go from ministry to ministry feigning desire for acceptance, while subconsciously plotting for their rejection and exit from relationship before it even begins.
One of the purposes of maintaining a rejection complex is to remain free from all spiritual relational responsibility. There is a warped idea in the prophetic wilderness that truly “free” spiritual relationship has no expectations, obligations, boundaries or other identifiable structure. Such are considered “manmade standards” of the “flesh.” This thinking however is actually relational lawlessness masking as relational liberty. As saints of God, we live in a spiritual relational “kingdom.” A kingdom has structure. And a spiritual relational kingdom has spiritual relational structure. The freedom we have in Christ is experienced in the spiritual nature of our relational structure, not in the absence of relational structure, which is lawlessness.
When the idea of relational lawlessness is attached to the prophetic rejection complex, what you get is wounded prophetic people who approach structurally definable ministries for fellowship, but who have already set themselves up for rejection in advance by defying any kind of standard for relationship as a “manmade” standard. They come with a mind to “test” the ministry to see if it is truly “free,” hence truly “spiritual.” They test it by presenting themselves in such a way that predisposes them to be rejected, whether by cloaking themselves in a false identity, failure to transparently answer questions, or maybe by intentionally flaunting some peculiar abnormality about themselves (which they use to mark themselves as spiritual). Then, when relationship is unable to be joined because of any of this, they take the inevitable rejection as a proof of the ministry’s unspirituality (“like all the rest”), the justification of their own truly “free” eccentric spirituality in the Lord, and as a basis to claim once again to have “suffered rejection for the Lord’s sake.” And so, too wounded to be healed, this cycle goes on and on and on…..until they die in the wilderness.
When I first began the
Readers Circle, that I would encounter such an attitude on the part of anyone approaching this ministry for fellowship never dawned on me. But I have had my own growing up to do! And remembering some of the tests I myself had to pass through in approaching ministries during my own darkest days, I should have been the wiser! And now, perhaps I am.
But so now, you know the meaning behind the parable “Too Wounded to Be Healed.”
Too Wounded to Be Healed - A Parable Explained (2)
“Wilt thou be made whole?." John 5:6
The explanation of Too Wounded to Be Healed sent out earlier brought out some more responses to the original parable “bubbling under the surface.” (I’m sure there are some other bubblers out there that haven’t surfaced yet. J) One in particular led to a further and even more explanatory discussion which I think you will find helpful. I have added emphasis to some key points there. But one point I especially want to verbalize is this:
We have heard the maxim based in I Jn. 3:2, “We become like what we behold.” When we feed on the prophetic rejection we receive at the hands of men, and so build it into our ministry identity and base our sense of intimacy with the Father around it so that we become subconscious self-fulfillers of our own future rejection by other ministries, the truth is that it is we who have now first become the prejudicial rejectors of others. We become the hypocritical accusers in advance of others of something we have first become by beholding.
This is what you really see in the parable. It is the boy who has become the pre-judging rejector of everyone else—the store clerks, the school administration, and the doctor—people who have never even seen him before and could have no reason to reject him. He claimed to be “looking at his father,” but he was never looking at his father at all, just a distorted image of him through the lens of his past rejections in
Africa. He was only ever really looking at his past rejections.
When we live off of the Father’s acceptance of us despite the prophetic rejection of others, we become impartial acceptors of others as He is and allow new ministry and other relationships the opportunity to prove themselves out. But when we live off the prophetic rejections by others to become identified in our ministry by that rejection, we become the false prejudicial prophetic rejectors of others before we have even met them. And again, it offers us an out from ever having to accept any kind of real definition or structure in committed relationship.
If this is an area you struggle with, let this parable minister to you to forgive and release it all back to the Father. Deflect it all back to the Father. Disown the rejection and send it back to the Father for judgment. In this you will find your healing and the objectivity of heart necessary to righteously evaluate all potential personal and ministry relationship you encounter, and the preparations to accept the responsibilities that come with true relationship.
Be edified as you enter into these responses....
Since we don't know each other very well yet, I let the sparks on this one fly for a while, yes, wondering where in the world were you coming from?
The boy purposely cut
himself off from his father, his nation, his identity, his destiny, yet
carried a picture of his father during his entire downward spiral
of self-pity and self-induced misery? Is this not unlike many
believers who carry within them the identity of their heavenly Father, yet
purposely cut themselves off from His mercy, His grace, the His leading
by His Spirit to set out on their own self-determination,
self-satisfaction, and self-destruction while all the time demanding
entitlement to all the benefits of the Father? Who among us has not
been found guilty of this to one degree or another until we learn? At least,
at last, the prodigal recognized his own folly, repented and came
home. So where's the redeeming grace in
Do you mind if I ask this legitimate
question? Allowing the Lord to heal us and make us whole physically,
emotionally, spiritually does require responsibility to fully function in it
giving all the glory to Him. I believe this is the reason the
Lord asks, "Wouldst thou be made whole?" He was asking if they
could rightly steward the gift of wholeness to reflect His glory. Well, I
must say this, it certainly was provocative.
Many blessings, judi
Thanks for your response, Judi.
There are a couple of points in which I think you may have misread the parable…
The boy is not a prodigal and he did not cut himself off from his father. He left his original land with the full blessing of his father. This is a picture of the prophetic person who is forced to leave his native church due to prophetic rejection and false prejudicial standards of fellowship, and who does so under the Lord’s approval and support. (The racial factor can be seen as denominational issues, etc.) It is not a picture of a prodigal seeking to do something on his own in spite of his father’s preferred wishes. The picture of the father kept by the boy indicates the rejected prophet’s continued closeness to the Father despite his separation from his native church background.
The remainder of the parable is however about the rejected prophet’s failure to reckon with the legitimate place of standards in body relationship by holding onto his original rejection by the organizational church, building that rejection into his identity and defining his Father’s acceptance of him by the rejection of men--rather than overcoming and becoming free of the rejection through release and forgiveness. (That is the thrust of my previous explanation).
As to whether all rejected prophets have at one time been guilty of allowing this attitude into their hearts, the answer is likely yes. I alluded to my own early challenge in this regard at the end of my explanation. That is the reason the parable is necessary, not a reason it is somehow unfair (?) which is what your question seems to intimate. You rightly observe that we all need “to learn.” But that is why the parable is necessary. The parable is necessary because most harboring that attitude don’t recognize it for what it is, and need it exposed in order to learn. We learn through instruction, and parables are instructive.
As for where the redeeming grace is in the situation, there is none if one continues to harbor the attitude in spite of the instruction the Holy Spirit would offer (pictured by the black doctor who identifies with the same prophetic spirit and close relationship to the father that the boy has). The redeeming grace was available, but was rejected. That is the point of the parable. It is consistent with biblical warnings against unforgiveness and bitterness, and their consequences. The point of the parable then is, “you don’t want to end up like this.” The fact is that many rejected prophetic people do “die in the wilderness” just this way. And the saddest part is they think the Father is pleased with them in this.
This then paints my understanding of the intent behind the Lord’s question, “Wilt thou be made whole?”—which may or may not be quite in line with yours. From my perspective, the question of willingness to be made whole is about whether one is willing to pay the price of disowning the rejection and the identity that goes with it in order to be made whole. Many do not in fact want to be made whole, though they would profess they do. They want a wholeness that still allows them to own the rejection. But that is not possible.
I hope this further explanation offers a little more light on where I am coming from.
Many blessings to you also,