Westbrook Park United Methodist Church
      • 2 Samuel 9.1-2ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.3-4ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.5-6ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.7-8ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.9ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.10ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.11-12ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9.13ESV

      • Psalm 88ESV

  • The Wounded Healer

    Henri Nouwen in his book The Wounded Healer laments that most Christian leaders are not prepared to be spiritual leaders for hurting people.
    “Our service will not be perceived as authentic,” Nouwen warns, “unless it comes from a heart wounded by the suffering about which we speak. Thus, nothing can be written about ministry without a deeper understanding of the ways in which ministers can make their own wounds available as a source of healing.” (The Wounded Healer, p. 4)
    Nouwen challenges us in the way of Christ to accept that we are wounded healers. He insists that pastors, Bible teachers, small group leaders, counselors, spiritual directors, and all kinds of ministers and leaders are all needed as wounded healers for the people they serve.
    Central to the ministry of Soul Shepherding is being a wounded healer who serves others in Jesus’ name. I’m praying that this study of Henri Nouwen’s teaching will draw you to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wounded Healer, and encourage you as a compassionate wounded healer.

    What is a Wounded Healer?

    Wounded Healer Henri Nouwen
    Maybe you’ve heard the concept that the way of Christ is to be a wounded healer for others. But how well do you understand what it actually means? What is a wounded healer? It’s not about being a needy or dysfunctional helper! Nor is it about counselors and caregivers switching roles to get their helpees to care for them!
    Simply put, wounded healers offer their hurts to help others receive comfort and encouragement. They share in the sufferings of Christ and they share with other people the comfort of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:4). They become a gentle, strong, and compassionate presence for the people around them. They’re Christ’s Ambassadors who minister divine friendship of God to those who have disconnected from God (2 Corinthians 5:20).
    Being a wounded healer starts with a deepening self-awareness of our own personal struggles and receiving empathy — tender-hearted understanding and compassionate support — from God and other people that we need. Being filled with love we can overflow with love to others (1 John 4:19) so they know they are not alone. Feeling our own sadness, anger, anxiety, and inadequacy we can deeply empathize with the emotions of other people so that they can articulate their experience and receive care.
    As wounded healers in the way of Christ we are like the Psalmist in the Bible. We don’t deny or disdain our emotional struggles. Instead we accept our inner distress and receive the empathy and guidance that we need and then we can share the grace we’ve received with others who are hurting.
    The Wounded Healer
    2 Samuel 9:1 ESV
    1 And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
    One of the themes of this story is the kindness that David shows to the last descendant of the house of Saul. It is a bit misleading to read, particularly because when he was not yet king- and a fugitive, David would have no problem with killing those who were “left” of his enemies: When he approached one “Nabal” who had food that he needed, and was turned away, David responded accordingly: See 1 Samuel 25.34
    1 Samuel 25:34 NIV84
    34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”
    Even after assuming the role of king- with no adversaries to the throne- David considered all the members of the “house of Saul” his mortal enemies.
    But here, at this stage of his life, there are no real or imagined enemies to his throne. And David honors the memory of both Saul and David by seeking out the remainder of the house of Saul to bestow royal goods upon them.
    He finds one such person, Mephibosheth.
    2 Samuel 9:2 ESV
    2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.”
    Generally, at teh death of Saul, nearly all of his house would have died as well. This remnant is a servant of that house- there were likely many more- they were not the blood line as family would have been.
    2 Samuel 9:3 ESV
    3 And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.”
    Mephibosheth was a small boy when both his father and his grandfather died. His father was Jonathan, who david Loved, and his grandfather the king himself- Saul. On the day that they died, his caretaker picked him up in haste to run and dropped him- and Mephibosheth was injured for life. The Bible says it succinctly in this way: Mephibosheth was lame in both his feet.
    David’s intention, outlined throughout this story- is to show kindness to the house of Saul. The reality is that David was in a covenant relationship with Jonathon, Saul’s son, and that covenant moved him to seek kindness for any remnant of Jonathan’s house that might remain.
    2 Samuel 9:4 ESV
    4 The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.”
    Notice, the servant knows the exact town and house that Mephibosheth is living in.
    2 Samuel 9:5 ESV
    5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.
    2 Samuel 9:6 ESV
    6 And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.”
    It is noteworthy that in this verse, Mephibosheth actually bows down on his face and pays homage, or respect to David. Even the servant earlier, Ziba, did not do this.
    Well, context. Context is everything.
    Know that David had never ordered King Saul killed. When a soldier came back with the head of Saul, thinking he would be honored by David- David had that soldier put to death for killing the Lord’s anointed king.
    There should have been other descendants of Saul to honor- specifically Mephibosheth’s uncle Ish-Bosheth. Ish-Bosheth was another son of King Saul who had survived.
    But shortly afterDavid had assumed the throne a band of men went to Ishbosheth’s house and found him taking an afternoon nap *(all in 2 Samuel 4), they stabbed him, killed him, beheaded him, and took his head back to David assuming David would be elated. He was not. All of those men lost their lives as well.
    David’s character never forgot the covenant he had made with Jonathan- but that didn’t stop others from failing to honor the new king by stopping the killing of Saul’s descendants.
    As Mephibosheth meets David for the first time, probably shaking at what was about to happen to him- he bows all the way with his face to the ground and honors King David in respect.
    2 Samuel 9:7 ESV
    7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”
    David encourages Mephibosheth not to be afraid. He tells him he wants to show him kindness, not violence. Kindness, for his father’s sake.
    David’s kindness was two-fold. All the land that had previously belonged to Saul- would now belong to Mephibosheth. And secondly, Mephibosheth would for the rest of his days be a guest at the king’s table.
    2 Samuel 9:8 ESV
    8 And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”
    A second time, Mephibosheth honors the king- and even refers to himself by an epithet, “dead dog”.
    2 Samuel 9:9 ESV
    9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson.
    2 Samuel 9:10 ESV
    10 And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master’s grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
    2 Samuel 9:11 ESV
    11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.
    David’s kindness is now implemented.
    2 Samuel 9:12 ESV
    12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants.
    2 Samuel 9:13 ESV
    13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.
    Let’s make a few points.
    Dying slowly
    Mephibosheth was a part of a rejected family- Saul’s. Born royal, but living in dependence completely.
    Mephibosheth fell and could not walk. Mephibosheth could do nothing for himself.
    Mephibosheth would have died without David’s help. If David had not stepped in, you would probably have not heard of Mephibosheth. he could not help himself.
    Moved First
    Faithful to Covenant
    Protective of Mephibosheth
    Made the first move. He sent for Mephibosheth.
    Acted on behalf of a covenant promise.
    provided kindness
    called Mephibosheth personally
    Received him into his own family.
    Spoke peace - Fear not
    Provided for him.
    Protected him.
    Mephibosheth was hopeless.
    David was graceful.

    When Life Is Empty-God is Full

    Electric Cars and Charging Stations.
    Matthew 9:10 ESV
    10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.
    Tax collectors- who everyone disliked.
    Matthew 26:7 ESV
    7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.
    Mark 14:18 ESV
    18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
    Mark 16:14 ESV
    14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
    Unbelieving disciples.
    Luke 7:36 ESV
    36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
    Religious hypocrites.
    Luke 7:37 ESV
    37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,
    Person with a past.
    Luke 12:37 ESV
    37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.
    Luke 24:30 ESV
    30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.
    John 13:23 ESV
    23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side,
    The loved.
    There’s room at the table of God for all.
    Do you remember what David wrote in the Psalms? One very specific Psalm?
    Psalm 23 ESV
    A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

    Thou Preparest a Table Before Me In the presence of my enemies.

    Before David could prepare a table for Mephibosheth, he had to sit at the table of God. And He did.

    When Life Is Empty-God Is Full

    You may find yourself among the
    difficult to love
    Someone that has betrayed you
    religious hypocrites
    Person with a past
    And it may be that like David, you are called to reveal the benevolence of God in that interaction.
    When Jesus died on the cross, he died for you and me, and for those who are difficult to love, who are misunderstood, who had betrayed him, who didn’t believe in him, for the religious hypocrites, for the person with a past, for the discouraged, for the loved, and for the believers. And for you and me.
      • 2 Samuel 9:1ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:2ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:3ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:4ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:5ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:6ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:7ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:8ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:9ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:10ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:11ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:12ESV

      • 2 Samuel 9:13ESV