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Why "The Bruised Reed?"

Dear reader,

One of the questions that I am asked from time to time is, "Why did you choose 'The Bruised Reed' for the name of your website?"  Well, the answer is quite simple: I am The Bruised Reed.

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember.  Truth be told, I have written a couple of books (not booklets; books) that ended up in the garbage because I never felt like they were of any value or of a good enough quality that anyone else would ever care to read them.  I had a website over a decade ago that featured some articles I had written, mainly Bible studies, which stayed live for about two years before I finally sent it to the recycle bin as well.

Then, life happened in a cruel and vicious way.  For a couple of years I fought with a very deep and horribly dark time of depression.  It began with what I truly believe was a nervous breakdown coupled with a crisis of faith.  I fought and, eventually, I won.  It wasn't too long thereafter that my life was torn apart by the failure of my first marriage.  I was 1500 miles from my home serving God in a foreign country as a Missionary when it happened.  Adultery, lies and betrayal tore my life apart.  This was followed by an onslaught from suddenly interested parties who determined to systematically pull what was left of me to pieces.

In an understandably renewed state of depression, I found myself wrestling with thoughts of suicide.  It had been made clear by some individuals that there was hope and a future ahead of me.  Others, however, made sure I was aware of the bleakness of the life that was ahead of me.  For every hand offering me a reason to live was another reminding me that there were ample reasons to die.  Thoughts of suicide haunted me.  There were times when I would approach a bridge on the route between the village where I lived and the village where I pastored and, with white knuckles gripping the wheel, argue with the voice in my head that said, "If you'll just make a hole in that river, it'll all be over."

I prayed, worshiped, fasted and did all of the things I was supposed to do to overcome the overshadowing darkness.  Finally, a day of release came.  I was in my home in the jungle and turned on the shortwave radio on my bedside.  There I heard the voice of a preacher who was taking his text from Matthew 12:20, "A bruised reed He will not break and a smoking flax he will not quench."  The preacher began telling a story of his own bout with depression because of the circumstances of life.  His decisive moment of victory came while on a trip to Israel in the 1960's.  There he stood upon the site where, according to tradition, Thomas fell on his knees before the resurrected Christ in profession of faith in Him as Lord and God.

In that moment the preacher understood the frailty of Thomas' faith up to that point and the fact that Christ met with him and subjected Himself to the terms of Thomas' test.  He offered nail-pierced hands and a spear-pierced side to the doubting Thomas and, in that moment of great compassion, proved that even the weakest of faith among the Disciples was worthy of Christ's personal attention.  Such is the love of Christ for the bruised that He refused absolutely to finish the break.  The Messiah came, not to break the bruised reed or smolder the flickering flame but to heal and restore.

I stood there in my room with a sudden realization:  I was a bruised reed and Christ would not break me.  I could run to Him with my wounded condition with full confidence that it was His will and desire to heal me.  He wasn't through with me, wasn't looking for ways to flush me out of the Kingdom and wasn't interested in my destruction whatsoever.  It was a turning point and the beginning of my emotional recovery.

In October 2014 and after much encouragement by many individuals, I began The Bruised Reed Blog.  What started then as a hobby and catharsis has grown into an extension of my ministry that has reached into 115 countries around the world.  Thousands now read this collection of articles and hundreds have participated in a Salvation Bible Study as a result of this site.  It serves as a reminder to me that the Saviour is still holding this bruised reed in His loving hands.

To all of you who continue to read this blog, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of my healing.  I pray that something I write might help you in your life and walk with God.  And let me encourage you - if you're bruised, don't be ashamed.  The first step toward healing is realizing your need and uncovering it unashamedly in the presence of the Great Physician so that He might apply a cure.   In these articles I have sought to write with sincerity, clarity and transparency because I'm not ashamed to be The Bruised Reed.

Sincerely,

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