Some of my favorite Christian recording artists have experienced life-crushing tragedies: Danny Gokey, Jeremy Camp, and Steven Curtis Chapman are examples.
Because I know a bit of their life stories, their music has richer meaning. When they sing of grief, regret, failure, and struggle, they speak from experience. Their messages can be trusted because they know what they are talking about.
I have friends who have also been through the fire: friends who have lost mates or children; have suffered abuse; are physically, mentally, or emotionally scarred; or have lived on the edge of survival all their lives. Sadly, some of these friends have experienced more than one of these tragedies.
When these friends share their stories with me, they become authentic people. I get a glimpse into what made them the people they are. In a very small way, I understand them. And with every bit of understanding, I become more accepting.
These people have gained insights into life that I have not. They have walked through valleys I have been spared from walking. They know things I don’t. Many times, they exhibit strengths I don’t have.
Lately, I have pondered this saying from Rumi, a 13th century Persian theologian and poet: Your wound is the place where the Light enters you.
When Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10, When I am weak, then I am strong (NLT), was he talking about light entering him through his wounds?
All of us are walking wounded. Some of us were hurt by others; some of us suffer from self-inflicted hurts. Each wound is an opportunity for God’s light to shine in, bring wholeness to the sufferer, and make one stronger.
Often, we wounded people don’t want to reveal our damaged selves to other people for fear they will reject or judge us. My experience is that the people who love me most are the people who know me, the unmasked me, best. In fact, it has been through some of these very people that God was able to shine His light into my soul.
Danny Gokey lost his young wife, Sophia, to congenital heart disease. Jeremy Camp’s wife, Melissa, died of ovarian cancer before the couple had been married a year. Steven Curtis Chapman’s little girl, Maria, was killed in a car accident in the family’s driveway.
These Christian artists are singing from this side of their heartbreaks. They have been through the fire and suffered deep wounds. Through those experiences, their faith has been strengthened and their determination to persevere has increased. Their music now blesses and inspires thousands of people all over the world.
In their weakness, these people became strong. Their life songs, though sad, have brought about beautiful results.
Don’t be afraid to share your story with people you trust. Your life song is waiting to bless someone.