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Chapter One

An Introduction to Feelings

His face was swollen; his lips were thick, cut and bruised; his eyes were nearly swollen shut. Where there had once been a neat, well-groomed beard, there was now naked patches of raw, bloody skin from which that same beard had been violently plucked and torn out.

Crusted, bloody streams coursed from puncture wounds to the forehead. Dry spit could be seen, still clinging to the remainder of his beard. What had been a handsome young face was now marred almost beyond recognition. Why had he not cried out for help?

But, the butchery did not end there. Looking upon his back caused anguish; just think of the suffering that beating must have caused. Hamburger pulp is not even a good description of his body. Strips of skin hung like loose ribbons; the white of his ribs were exposed, bruised and pulverized; skin and muscle were crusted with blood. Large nail holes in the middle of his wrists and ankles were surrounded again by crusted blood. These all added to the final agony this naked young man must have suffered before his death. But why? What terrible crime had he committed?

They looked upon his wounds and asked, “Where were you wounded?” He replied, “I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zechariah 13:6 paraphrased).

The house of our friends … not our enemies! Those special ones from whom we seek love and affirmation, the supposedly safe ones—our moms, dads, brothers, sisters, mates, children, relatives and friends. When we’ve been wounded by someone in whom we have a close relationship, it makes it so much harder to deal with the hurt, pain or consequences afterwards.

Many times it’s these close, personal relationships that hinder us from being able to admit the true source of our wounds, or even worse, we deny them altogether.

While growing up, each and every one of us has had our share of hurts, grief and sorrows inflicted upon us. It is impossible to live in and grow up in this world without pain. However, the truth is we have a choice. The pain can either make us bitter or it can make us better. Either way, we need help!

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Copyright © 2009 Dr. Gene Smith

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Unless otherwise marked, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Version or the New King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Scripture quotations noted NIV are taken from the Holy Bible New International Version ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishing Hoise. All rights reserved.