Actor Hugh Jackman describes some of the deep wounds that still drive his life years after his childhood. When he was eight-years-old his mother abandoned him, his father, and Hugh's four elder siblings. When he finally realized that his mother was gone for good, Jackman was too frightened to enter his house alone. In a 2013 interview he said, "I was terrified because I was the first one home every day. I used to walk home from school and wait outside. I just wouldn't go in." His father, Christopher, seemed to compensate for the pain by working long hours as an accountant. Jackman said, "My father could only come to one game a year because he had five kids, and on Saturday he had to shop. If my father was there, it would be 50 percent greater. Having his approval is something that still drives me." Jackman admits his ongoing struggles with fear, anxiety, and people-pleasing. He’s still driven to be somebody. “I saw a play in Sydney, and in the notes they had this quote from Bono that said: "What kind of hole exists in the heart of a person when they need to have 70,000 people scream, 'I love you,' in order to feel fulfilled?" But there is a part of me that wants to please, to be all things to all people”
So there’s brokenness everywhere. Tons of people in this generation have been broken by divorce. Either their parents divorced or they have divorced or people close to them have been divorced. This generation has experienced the pains of nuclear family blowup. For other people, it’s abandonment. Mom and dad stayed together but there wasn’t much nurturing going on. Parents left them alone as latchkey kids. Or parents were around, but they were so emotionally detached that the kids shriveled up and died, emotionally. For other people, it’s abuse. Someone they loved betrayed their trust. Abused them physically or emotionally or sexually. And the trail of misery can’t even be put into words.
It’s into all of this brokenness that Jesus came. He came to be broken with us and for us.
His brokenness means our healing. But it also calls us to be broken on behalf of others. We can never help the wounded without being wounded ourselves.
Our world desperately needs wounded healers. Will you be one?