Some of those who suffer are known as "cutters" or self-abusers. Perhaps as many as 10% of teens are cutters and 4% of the whole population according to one website. I have known cutters of every age and gender. Many with a history of sexual abuse. I believe having learned at an early age to stop "feeling," cutting is a way of concentrating on pain which they have control over. Many say it helps them feel alive--perhaps because they have learned to be dead inside to deal with great emotional pain. One evening when sitting beside a young person with this issue, I had an aha moment. Since the devil likes to turn everything Christian on its head, perhaps there is a spiritual connection. And I came up with the following story:
She watched her fingers gripping and drawing the small knife blade slowly across the soft-as-silk pink skin on the underside of her wrist. The spirit moved her hand; she had little command over it. Relief and reality came with the oozing of the bright red life-fluid from the cut.
Pain broke slowly through the clouded emotional barrier in her brain. The knife tip completed the inch long “superficial cut.” She knew that term. She’d heard it often enough in the emergency room. She sometimes cut in hidden places too.
Cutting made her feel alive, and brought relief from the “inside” pain--the kind that tore the soul--if only till tomorrow.
The pain was something she could focus on. Her thoughts were drawn to it. Release followed.
She was real! She felt light…high…forgiven….joyous. The other feelings--the kind that made her seek the drugs, the sex, the dangerous edge of life--were buried for the moment. Sweet escape…for a while. The scar would remind her of how she could be released from the torment yet again tomorrow.
He felt the blood run from the many cuts on his back. The release was warm. He suffered but rejoiced, the memory of the whip fading.
His mind blurred as he carried the heavy lumber up the incline. He focused on the purpose.
He felt the warm oozing of blood from his wrists and ankles. This was necessary for life. The life of all who come to love His Father. Let the blood run, so the sins and torment can be buried. The scars would be proof of the eternal, permanent release He could provide.
No other sacrifice is needed. God wants us whole and unblemished.
In "A Window Into a Cutter's WorldBy Rachel Zoller, herself a former cutter for ten years, she writes, "At a spiritual level, intercede for that person and urge them to talk to God as well. Pray they'll know and believe the truth. Search the scriptures for verses that will offer comfort and strength when they start to feel overwhelmed. For example, when voices of self-deprecation threatened to take hold, I reminded myself that the Creator of the universe values me deeply. I am His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) created in His image (Genesis 1:27) and made complete in His son, Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:10). He has bought me with a great price (1 Corinthians 6:20, John 3:16), calls me His friend (John 15:15) and desires a relationship with me (1 John 1:3)."