Spiritual Practice

Invisible Wounds, Visible Healing

Jim Still-Pepper

What do you see inside an empty bottle? Nothing—I mean, it’s empty, isn’t it? Though we do not see anything in an empty bottle, the bottle is full of air.

We pretend that our wounds aren’t there, we hide them. But our invisible wounds are there, and we can’t really hide them from ourselves or from God.

Why Invisible Wounds?

We have a lot of reasons to make our wounds invisible. What are some of your reasons?

Depressed Teen Girl FTR2 TS-93347472Here’s a list of possible ones:

> I won’t be able to handle the pain.
> I’m afraid no one will listen.
> I can’t trust anyone, even myself.
> I’ve tried to tell, but the pain got worse.
> If I continue to pretend, the hurt will go away.
I don’t know what to say.
> No one will understand.


Some wounds heal by themselves; but if they are serious, they need our attention. Some need the attention of other people as well. If we keep wounds invisible, they may not heal.

Make Them Visible

Make a secret list of your individual wounds. If you can’t write the words, draw pictures. I promise not to look. Go ahead; make your wounds visible, at least for a minute.

The Benefits of Seeing

Puzzle Pieces FTR CF 2439293687_a2d179ea1e_oSeeing our wounds helps us to heal them. Have you ever tried to put together a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces upside down? It can be done, but it takes longer; and in the end, you don’t have anything to look at. Hidden wounds are a lot like upside-down puzzle pieces. If you keep them hidden, you can still live your life. But it’s a lot harder, and you may not have much to look at when you’re done.

Showing Others

Telling someone about your wounds may be the medicine you need. If you tell someone about your invisible pain, it automatically changes because it is no longer invisible!

But not everyone needs to know about your wounds. Some people need to know because they can help. So to whom should you talk?

     G-od already knows; telling God will not change God’s love for you.
     O-ther people help us; they are instruments of God’s love.
             Tell people who are:

Never Alone

devozine, Boy Writing


Have you read about the invisible wounds of this week’s devozine writers? Their wounds are closer to being healed because they have made them visible to you and to other devozine readers. You may have noticed as you read the stories that you are not alone. Bad things happen to everyone, so no one is alone with his or her pain. It is also true that you are never alone because God is with you. God will listen and understand.


Invisible wounds may be haunting memories that seem to invade your entire life, like an army storming a city. Memories may be intense, yet God can handle them and use them.

Read Lamentations 3:19-24. As the prophet Jeremiah asks God to remember his afflictions, his own memories of God’s never-ending love give him hope. You too can find hope for your invisible wounds in your memories of God’s love and comfort.


teen comforting friend Ftr TSP 114333866DIG DEEPER

Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. God comforts you so that you will be able to comfort others. Whatever your wounds, in the future you will find others with similar injuries, and you will be able to comfort them!

Read some of these other verses about God’s comfort:

Jim Still-Pepper is from Zanesville, Ohio.

—from devozine (March/April 2002). Copyright © 2002 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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