Scars and Healing

Franklin was packing up his stuff to leave. “Well, I’m getting ready to swing on out,” he said in his usual cheerful way. But then he added something: “Hey, would you all pray for me before I go?”

It was kind of a shock; in a year and a half of working with Emmaus, I’d never heard Franklin ask for prayer.

We each prayed for him, as we often do. Franklin opened up at the end: “Lord, I know that the devil is trying to tell me a lot of lies right now and I know I need to hold on to your truth. Please give me the strength to hold on to you.”

He finished with tears at the corners of his eyes. “Thank you for praying for me. There’s so much that I’m doing that I need to stop doing. It seems like every time I’m on the right track, the devil tugs me away to something that I’ve got no business doing. Keep on praying for me.”

Sometimes the Lord uses small moments like these to open my eyes to his compassion for the men we serve. Franklin asking for prayer flummoxed me in the best possible way. When we’ve offered to pray for him in the past, sometimes he’s reluctantly agreed and at other times he’s bitterly refused. But I had never heard him ask for prayer, acknowledging to himself and to others how deep his need is for the Lord.

How often do I do that? How often do I put my pride down and ask others for help, admitting that God alone can give me what I need: the strength and wisdom to walk with him?

I find myself coming to a place of realization that we are, each of us, in recovery. The men at Emmaus have a lot to teach us, because they know through years on the streets, trapped in survival prostitution, that they do not have it all together. While many of us, including me, find ourselves doing image management—presenting our best side to the people we know and even to God—these men are acutely aware of their scars, on the outside and within. This awareness and vulnerability are the starting place for each of our journeys forward, where healing from the wreckage of the past can begin.

Like Franklin, can we come this way before a God who loves us, scars and all? He will heal us. But do we dare believe it?

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To provide Christ-centered support to men seeking to escape survival prostitution and embrace a life of health and wholeness.


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Chicago IL 60618

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Wheaton IL 60187-0431


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