I’ve never been good at remembering to put on sunscreen at the beach. By the time we park and I’m trying to contain all the kids and haul the chairs and towels, it’s just so easy to overlook this simple (but very important) part of the process.
After several hours of splashing in the water and building lopsided sandcastles, I notice that my pasty white torso has turned to a shade of lobster red. By then, it’s too late. The damage has been done. I put on my tee shirt to conceal the burn, but for the rest of the day, anytime someone touches my shoulder or hugs me or pats me on the back, I wince in pain.
In my experiences dealing with a lot of emotionally wounded people, I believe that there is an epidemic of “Spiritual Sunburn.” It happens when we go out in the world unprotected and get overexposure to failure, negativity and betrayal. These emotional wounds create invisible “burns” on our mind and heart and cause us to wince in pain when people get too close to us.
Just like I have to rub aloe on my sunburns, we need to spread encouragement and hope to each other’s emotional wounds. We need to pray for each other and to build each other up with our words. We need to be the Hands of Jesus spreading healing to a hurting world.
Through our words, our actions and our love, let’s be part of the healing process.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” Ephesians 4:29