Healing after Assault
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
But he was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ASV)
To be assaulted means you experience physical or verbal harm. There are several forms of assault: physical, verbal, sexual. Some examples of being assaulted are being spit on, slapped, hit, pushed, kicked, choked, grabbed, having a deadly (or even non deadly) weapon brandished at you, cursed out or at, called names, being forced to participate in a sexual act, or being touched in a way that violates your person. In other words, anything that feels a threat to your person or life. If you have ever been assaulted, regardless of how it can be categorized, you have probably been left with some form of trauma and the act has become an indelible part of your memory.
Based upon the list and definition given above, many may be surprised at learning they have experienced being assaulted over their lifetime. They may have blocked it out, or considered it nothing to be upset about, or told themselves they should get over it. Sometimes women will say to me, when their husbands yell, curse at them, call them names, or do things that are a violation of their space or person, “At least I’m not being assaulted or beaten.”
We don’t often think of it as such, but Jesus was assaulted and in numerous ways. He experienced physical assault, verbal assault, even sexual assault. Sexual, because when he hung on the cross, he was forced to hang in full view of others without any covering. Today we see him depicted with the loin cloth or covering for his private area and that is out of respect for God our Savior, but in his day and time, if you were crucified you were not clothed but undressed to inflict shame the one being crucified.
In the Bible from Genesis forward, we come across many stories where an assault has taken place. God does not try to hide the brokenness or sin of sinful people. But just because God has made sure to let us see or read about the brokenness of humanity does not mean he approves of or condones mistreatment of any kind. God wants his children to be safe and live in secure surroundings. He wants them to experience peace in their environment and relationships. More than anything we might be encouraged to know God has provided healing. Healing for those who have experienced any form of assault, and yes, even healing for those who have been those inflicting harm or assaulting others. Whatever side we fall on, we should be encouraged—not ashamed—to reach out to others for help because God has provided them as well.
Jesus, so many experience some type of assault over their lifetime. They have experienced being injured physically, emotionally, verbally, sexually and it has let an indelible mark on their psyches and a hole in their heart. We pray for healing and restoration for both the wounded and the wounding. Amen