Out of the Darkness

We are living in a time where there are immense amounts of trauma and brokenness. The past year and a half of fighting the COVID pandemic has been merely one illustration of that. Add on to that racial tensions, political arguments, and local allegations of sexual exploitation by some of the people we should be able to trust most with our children. These issues and more are bringing light to issues that hold people in darkness.
This trauma and brokenness bring about pain, wounds, and long-term scars that can alter how one views the world. When one has experienced trauma or brokenness of any type the results can often lead a person to live in fear which ultimately leads to hiding in darkness. Whether you realize it or not, your neighbor down the street, your coworker next to you, or the student you pass in the halls may be living in a form of darkness as they hold onto these visible and invisible scars.
So, what do we do from here then?
If we really want to help people who are hurting and broken, then we need to create opportunities to enter into the darkness and sit with people while they weep because they do not have words to express the pain. We need to find ways where we can listen as people try to describe the indescribable pain they have gone through. 
As a pastor, I often sit with people as they share difficult stories of past and present abuse. I listen to the story of a spouse who was abused. I see the pain of a woman who was repeatedly assaulted as a child. I hear the cry of one who was abandoned by the ones that were meant to protect them.
In these times, my heart breaks because I know that I do not have the power to heal them. There is nothing that I can personally do to remove the pain and the memories. However, that does not mean that there is no hope. I share with each person the one thing that I do have: the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I share that when I was dead in my sins with no hope, He came to save me. When I was lost in the darkness and alone, He searched and found me. When I was feeling like I had been beaten up by the world, He shared His life with me. This may seem overly simplistic, but oftentimes the simple answer is the best one.
You see, Jesus can enter into the trauma and brokenness of others because He was traumatized and He was broken. In talking about the treatment of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah said that “his appearance was so disfigured that he did not look like a man, and his form did not resemble a human being.” Isaiah also said that “he was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows who knew what sickness was,” and that “he himself bore our sickness, and he carried our pains.” 
So, at Cornerstone Church we aim to be a church where you can come, in your brokenness. We don’t ask that you get it all together or put on a false version of yourself to enter in. Rather, we seek to be safe people where you can come in the brokenness and the messiness and be welcomed right where you are. This regularly brings us back to the basics: together we walk out of the darkness and into a marvelous light. 
Something incredible happens when a hurting person shares the darkness that they have been afraid others will gape and be disgusted by: they are no longer alone in it. Light begins to enter into jagged darkness and this is the first step of healing. We were not meant to carry these heavy secrets alone as every single person is in need of a place to be accepted and loved, just as they are. Then together, we can walk to the foot of the cross where we see our Savior, who voluntarily took on the worst trauma one could endure so that he could enter into the trauma that you and I experience today.
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