How long must a person be subjected to abuse before they become damaged goods?
Can a person who’s snapped, gone over the edge, and become damaged goods ever find true freedom and solace; safe from the long reaching arms of their abuser?
I should probably interject something here, as a point of clarification. Abusers (I’m referring to people who damage others either physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually) aren’t necessarily demon possessed, but they ARE allowing themselves to be used by the devil.
He is a murderer, thief, killer, and destroyer.
And he uses people to get his junk accomplished.
I wondered these things while reading the gospel of Mark.
“They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.” (Mark 5:1 – 5:5 ESV)
A wild man. A mad man. Why? How? I don’t know, because the narrative doesn’t go there.
But it COULD be due to how he was raised, what he was subjected to, or something else involving people from his past. Maybe he allowed hatred and bitterness to fester and grow in his heart until he completely yielded to the powers of darkness.
I don’t know.
I do know he was damaged.
Damaged goods. Not a very nice description, is it? But what does it mean or how does it happen?
I’m really going to simplify things here and answer with three words.
People hurting people.
People, for whatever reason, sometimes hurt others. Allow the hurt to continue, and more damage is done. Eventually, if not helped, and the hurt is reinforced with more hurtful actions and words, the person can become so damaged they are beyond anyone’s ability to help them heal.
But not beyond God’s ability to save, heal, and deliver.
Jesus changed the man’s life by releasing him from the things tormenting him. He didn’t erase the man’s past, but he did disable the power of the past.
And isn’t it odd how the ones who knew the “crazy” man seemed to have preferred he remain in that condition instead of enjoying true freedom?
The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region (Mark 5:14 – 5:17 ESV)
That’s what makes me think they were part of the problem in the first place.
The madman in Mark five is, to me, a picture of damaged goods coming in contact with the Lover of the soul. No matter how bad things had become for the man, hurt and total hopelessness met its match that day on the Galilean seashore.
And that’s one huge reason why I love the Lord! He took a damaged person (me) and delivered my life from destruction.
How about you?
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1 – 103:5 ESV)