I was sitting at a bar ordering lunch at a restaurant in a small airport in Texas when the lady behind the counter accosted me: “Whaddya want?”
She was about 65 and proudly described herself as the word that means female dog. She was rough and had a foul mouth. I could tell she’d been beaten up by life.
I don’t know if you’ve heard this phrase, “hurt people hurt people” before, but it refers to the phenomenon that when you’ve been hurt, you have a tendency to lash out and hurt others.
In the movies, it works by the same ghastly mechanism that causes zombies to multiply. Regular people attacked by zombies themselves become the very thing they were fighting against.
It’s sad and horrible phenomenon. It’s why children who have been abused themselves become abusers. It’s why children whose parents rage and throw things themselves develop tempers.
It may explain things you find broken in yourself. The biblical basis is Exodus 34:7, which describes how God will visit the consequences of sin to the third and fourth generation.
Practically, what happens is that the wounds we receive when we are most vulnerable become access points for evil in the same way that a physical wound can become infected. And many of these “spiritual infections” never heal. They are tender to the touch.
Understanding this phenomenon, we as wounded healers should respond with grace and intercession. When we encounter rude people, we don’t excuse the rudeness, but we recognize that the behavior is probably protecting a wound that needs ministry.
I told the bar maid that her real identity was as a loving grandmother who played with her grandkids and then I helped her clear counters. She looked like a different person when I left.