Every pastor knows that they are one action away from being wounded and broken before God. We do not live on the successes of yesterday nor on the successes of today. We recognize ourselves as a wounded healer and a “beggar who gives alms.”1
In his book, The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen writes:
Since it is his task to make visible the first vestiges of liberation for others, [the pastor] must bind his own wounds carefully in anticipation of the moment when he will be needed. He is called to be the wounded healer, the one who must look after his own wounds but at the same time be prepared to heal the wounds of others. He is both the wounded minister and the healing minister…2
1. Downhere, “Beggar Who Gives Alms,” 2009.
2. Nouwen, H. (1979). The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society . New York: Image Books, p 82.