extra challenges

while perusing the various blogs i follow, i ran across one that captured my interest and horrified me at the same time. the author talked about self-harm (cutting in particular) and served up a reminder that the people in the christian church are not exceptions who will never feel pain and decide to inflict harm to their own bodies.

as a future pastor, i admit that i’m terrified of encountering people who inflict harm on their bodies. i have never been able to understand how anyone could want to hurt themself in order to deal with the painful reality they already live in. i feel for them, but i generally have no idea where to start since the harmful actions are not the root of the problem.

but what terrified me most is the fact that i have no idea how to talk about the extremes people go to, the crazy ways people push their bodies and minds for whatever reasons. how can we address the deep pain people feel in ways that encourage them to not act out and inflict even more harm?

1 Comment

  1. Mary Hess

    Thanks for connecting to that piece. And raise these questions in other places at Luther as well, because you’ll find colleagues who themselves are in recovery from “cutting”, and you’ll find some very experienced youth ministers who have learned how to engage with youth who are caught up in such practices.

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