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“He’ll live the rest of his life with the nightmares and images, that’s what the military can’t fix.”
A Senior NCO went by and the Soldier with PTSD called out for help. The Senior NCO yelled at, told him to suck it up dig deep & drive on, and then threw him a shovel. But the Soldier with PTSD could not suck it up and drive on so he dug the hole deeper.
A Senior Officer went by and the Soldier with PTSD called out for help. The Senior Officer told him to use the tools your Senior NCO has given you then threw him a bucket. But the Soldier with PTSD was using the tools his Senior NCO gave him so he dug the hole deeper and filled the bucket.
A psychiatrist walked by. The Soldier with PTSD said, “Help! I can’t get out!” The psychiatrist gave him some drugs and said, “Take this. It will relieve the pain.” The Soldier with PTSD said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole.
A well-known psychologist rode by and heard the Soldier with PTSD cries for help. He stopped and asked,” How did you get there? Were you born there? Did your parents put you there? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the Soldier with PTSD talked with him for an hour, then the psychologist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week. The Soldier with PTSD thanked him, but he was still in the hole.
A priest came by. The Soldier with PTSD called for help. The priest gave him a Bible and said, “I’ll say a prayer for you.” He got down on his knees and prayed for the Soldier with PTSD, then he left. The Soldier with PTSD was very grateful, he read the Bible, but he was still stuck in the hole.
A recovering Soldier with PTSD happened to be passing by. The Soldier with PTSD cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!” Right away the recovering Soldier with PTSD jumped down in the hole with him. The Soldier with PTSD said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here!!” But the recovering Soldier with PTSD said, “Calm down. It’s okay. I’ve been here before. I know how to get out.
This is the gospel. God stood at the edge of a hole, and He heard people crying for help. But God didn’t write us a prescription and throw it down the hole. He didn’t pray then walk away. He didn’t throw us a shovel and told us to dig our self out, and He didn’t throw us a bucket.
He made the boldest, bravest move in human history: He jumped into the hole. Jesus forfeited heaven, put skin on, and lived on the inside of every hole, every mess, and every valley you could imagine.
Jesus “experienced it all himself — all the pain, all the testing — and would be able to help where help was needed” (Hebrews 2:18, The Message).
Jesus gets you. One of the ways Jesus helps us out of those holes is through His modern-day disciples — ordinary people like you and me. If we are on the street, then we are called to do more than offer a few clichéd prescriptions.
If you’ve ever been in a hole, and are standing on the outside, it means you know the way out.
I don’t know where you’re at today. I don’t know if you’re inside the hole, ashamed to cry out like I was. Or maybe your voice is hoarse from crying out so long. And all you’ve got is a pile of prescriptions and prayers at your feet. Friend, Jesus is right there with you, building you a ladder.
Or maybe you’ve been rescued, and you’re living in freedom, up on the street. But you recognize the holes, because you dwelled in them. Friend, Jesus is calling you to do the brave, bold thing:
We don’t have to jump into every hole. That would be foolish, because we don’t know the way out of every hole. But you’ll know which ones are familiar, and which ones aren’t. Pick the ones you know.
Someone is waiting for you.