March 22, 2018

Lenten Reflections of a Broken Wanderer by Alan Anderson

This post is shorter than my other posts but I hope you find it meaningful.

During the first week of March I began a series on grief for a local wellness business. I entitled the first presentation, Grief: The Calling of Wounded Healers. I first read the term “wounded healer,” in a book by the same name written by Henri Nouwen. Wounded healers are people who are acquainted with personal grief and recognize pain or brokenness as part of their life journey. Wounded healers are aware of the scars of their own grief.

I am a wounded healer. I am more than aware of my personal brokenness. I bear the scars of my own woundedness. At times they still sting. Life can indeed bruise a person.

As a wounded healer I am drawn to the significance of the Lenten season and in it find deep meaning and true healing. Lent is about the One bruised for my iniquities. Lent is about the One who heals us.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

I am also a "broken wanderer." My wife and I believe we are coming to the end of a spiritual journey we have been on for a few years. It has led us, by God’s grace, to embracing the beliefs of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. To eastern Orthodoxy the church body is more like a hospital than anything else. We can come as wounded healers and receive healing for our souls. We love the fellowship of the people of the church we are joining. We are also more aware of the healing found in God.

Our wilderness wandering is over. We are home. This journey includes experiencing Lent like never before. In an article I read in preparation for this post the author says,

“For Orthodox, the Lenten period is a time characterized by "joyful sorrow" or "bright sadness." The constant contemplation of Christ's crucifixion, along with the self -denial and struggle is overshadowed by the certainty of His coming Resurrection” (Evagelos Sotiropoulos,Clean Monday, 2016).

Dear readers, I have no idea if any of you relate to being a wounded healer or a broken wanderer. Perhaps you resonate more with being a wounded healer. Whatever the case, please know your journey will lead you to the Resurrection. Healing will come. Your wandering will come to an end and rest will be found. The best is yet to come.

I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come” (The Creed of Nicea and Constantinople).




  1. One of the things that always blesses me about your posts is the transparency with which you write. I believe your honest encouragement is having an impact on those whom you encounter.
    Also, another thought came to mind today as I read this post. I am so blessed to part of a community of Christian writers who do not focus on how we are different. We have evangelicals, Catholics, charismatics and, as you shared, Eastern Orthodox believers among us. I think this is a wonderful reminder, especially at this time of year, that we are to focus on what draws us together - namely, the resurrected Christ - and not what could divide. Blessings, my friend!

  2. Thank you and bless you Tracy. Yes, Christ holds us all together. Terry and I were both in desperate need of soul care and a sense of belonging. This will be a special Easter time for us.

  3. I understand what you are saying, Alan, about being a "wounded healer" and a "broken wanderer." As you also suggest, I can identify more with being a "wounded healer," than with being a "broken wanderer," as I believe I have found my spiritual home on earth. A beautiful post. I will be thinking of you during this fast-approaching Holy Week and especially at Easter Vigil when we too will experience this "joyful sorrow" and "bright sadness." I don't recall hearing those phrases before, but I recognize what they mean.

    1. Thank you for your comments Sharon. I think we resonate with each other. That seems to be characteristic with many wounded healers. I look forward to Easter and Pascha (special time for Orthodox people)to be reminded of the One who died for us. Blessings on you and your family Sharon.

  4. Alan, this... this healing and acceptance is the message of Easter, the message of the Gospel. Healing from sin and shame; acceptance, adoption to the family of God for eternity. Amen!

    1. And the abiding love of God! :)
      Thank you Marnie!


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