Wounds are where the light enters you
How does a throwaway quote on a Netflix show reveal something of the promise of God to transform wounds into revelation? Explore with WM author Rosy Keane three Biblical narratives around 'The wound is where the light enters you' as a promise of hope today.
Last night on a Netflix show, I heard a quote from a 13th century Persian poet named Rumi:
'The wound is where the light enters you'.
It struck me as a profound declaration of freedom in the face of pain. A promise that brings release. I believe that there is the breath of Holy Spirit within those words, so where else do we see this promise made real?
A wound in the roof
'Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'' - Luke 5:18-20
Here is the story of friends lowering a man through the roof of a house so Jesus could heal him. While everyone else is moved by the miracle, I feel for the owner of the household! 'Drinks? Check. Food? Check. Now there's not enough room for everyone I know, but I've managed... wait, what is happening to my ROOF right now?'
In that moment of the wound open up in the ceiling, there was the opportunity to become enraged. The audacity, and the cost of repairs! But Luke 5:17 had said 'The power of the Lord was there to heal them.'
In allowing that space - that wound - to open up where it shouldn't have, the healing power of the Light of the world entered into that crippled man's life forever.
A wound in David's pride
'Nabal answered David’s servants, 'Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?' David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. David said to his men, 'Each of you strap on your sword!'' - 1 Samuel 25:10-13
1 Samuel 25 reads as a recipe for bloodshed and senseless murder. David and his men had protected the flocks of a cruel man named Nabal, and come shearing time they asked for sustenance for their good deed. Nabal rejected them outright, wounding David's pride - and David vowed to murder everyone associated with him. Some servants alerted Nabal's wife Abigail, who the Bible says 'acted quickly'. She gathered up food, drink and offerings and rushed to meet David's men on the road, begging forgiveness for her husband's actions.
The great prophet Samuel had just died, and Abigail reveals herself as a prophet too, declaring 'When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.' - 1 Samuel 25:30-31
Abigail's wise words allowed the light of God into David's wound, Her prophecy determined David would become king of Israel, and withheld David's sword from bloodshed. Who knows how many times that exchange came back to shape the ministry of Israel's future king?
A wound in the hands of Christ
'The wound is where the light enters you'. - Rumi
'Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.' - Isaiah 53:4,5
'The wound is where the light enters you'. Those words of wisdom were uttered centuries after Christ and even longer after the words of Isaiah had been penned.
Do they summon the image of the man Christ upon the cross for you, as they did for me? Christ, who was struck and pierced for us and is the light of the world. Christ, whose sufferings set us free to be children of God. The wounds of Jesus ensured that the light of our Holy Spirit and the love of God would enter in and never be snuffed out.
While we are tempted to look at wounds or 'pain points' in our life as weakness and spaces of shame, maybe that is where Jesus longs most to touch us to let the light shine through. Will you allow God, who became a wound for us, to enter those places of darkness today for God's glory? Maybe those places will become where we see the image of God clearest.
'Your love is a pinhole camera
And I too must make a way
For the light to shine through pierced places
For there in weakness you love shines strongest
There in the holes and hardest and weirdest
Are where the pictures – if I’ll let them – become manifest
I’ll take up my cross
I’ll stand in the light
I’ll count it as loss
And your King’s ransom paid
Will be made