Okay, in my mind, the next logical post tackles the idea of the big hole in our soul. When I said I was tired of the topic, I spoke from a very personal view of wrestling with the hole for years! Sometime, I may give a more personal reflection on my experience of the abyss.
Like so many topics, I find terms are often used interchangeably, which does not fully bring the understanding needed. In this case, hole and wound are such terms. Christian terminology tends to mix these words in describing both our sin nature and the sources of our despairing. Consider the directive of Proverb 2:2 which reads, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; (I couldn’t resist this one, craig v.!) Analyzing nuances between synonyms or exposing common misusages are helpful toward the end of acquiring understanding. Such analysis often seems nit-picky. It is a fine wire on which to balance; don’t laugh if I fall.
Hole and wound are descriptors of something we know abstractly in our emotional heart, which is the source of how we “feel” inwardly. Using these interchangeably fails clear understanding. However, I often read authors or hear preachers with a bent toward meeting psychological needs never separate these two. Here’s how I would do it:
Hole = the divide between divine and human created by the fall. We are born with the hole. It is the source of our sin, because our first and continuing attempts to address how empty the soul feels (the hole) is the idolatry of self. The manifestations of self are myriad, but are fully described by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
Wound = the hurt inflicted by life on the soul. Often this wound is the weight of the pain we have inflicted; think not just of being victimized here! However, as wound suggests painful injury, so I think it is best limited to the painful, soul experiences of life.
The purpose of this analysis, you ask? The two different situations, though overlapping, are remedied in different ways. Further, to know the separation and respond accordingly to both one’s self inwardly and others outwardly is a characteristic of an authentic spiritual life in Christ.