Dr. Charlotte Russell Johnson
When you reach the end of your rope, God extends His† rope.
Oil for the Wounded
Introduction by Earline Hall
Oil for the Wounded is the ninth book in author Charlotte Johnsonís series of motivational text. Dr. Johnson is able to use the metaphor of a wound and a hurt to clarify the harm of unresolved emotional crisis leaving deep permeating scars in the life of the injured. While pain and suffering is a part of the human existence, Dr. Johnson is able to move the reader and those connected to her to a place of acceptance and healing. Pain is unavoidable, but it does not have to be the end of the story, crippling and debilitating the wounded. Dr. Johnson is able to provide a fresh, entertaining, and refreshing take on what could be a very heavy issue to address. She is able to keep the reader intrigued and laughing so that in the end, they have been educated, helped, empowered and most of all amused by her charming wit and use of anecdotal tales of her family, friends, and associates.†
The book presents help for recovery in colloquial, non-medical and non-clinical ways reminiscent of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. It differs in that it is applicable to adaptation into a professional treatment environment.
†††††††††† The level of transparency in this novel has eclipsed the others in this series, which seems impossible, given the very candid nature in which Dr. Johnson has unfolded her life story to the world. One of the most notorious characters in the series, Dr. Johnsonís first husband reappears following a five book absence from the series. His long awaited return answers many of the questions that loyal followers of the series have had about his fate. Although Dr. Johnson has always encouraged her fans not to harbor bitterness of resentment against him, it was difficult for her most devout fans to understand how they were able to maintain a friendship following A Journey to Hell and Back. His character is every bit as complex as Dan Scott in the popular American television series One Tree Hill. An individual capable of diverse and complicated motives and actions, he has always remained devoted to his son although his expression of love is not in the typical manner. He struggled to maintain a connection with his children despite his inappropriate choices.
Joe, much like Nathan Scott in OTH, had a different experience and relationship with his father than the siblings who were not in consistent contact with him. As Dan Scott exited the series if not redeemed, he was a more humane and likable character; Oil for the Wounded offers the same in-depth analysis into the complexity of Dr. Johnsonís first husband and his efforts to move forward with his family connections although he is not able to completely atone for his past.
†††††† The universal themes of hurt, pain, redemption, atonement, sin, weakness, and forgiveness make this book applicable to everyone. Forgiveness is not just offered by the wounded, but by all of those affected by the trauma including those who care for the injured party. The feelings of Dr. Johnsonís intimate family members are explored in details not observed in her other books. Although the resolution of her first husbandís fate in the series is long awaited, it does not eclipse the other inflicted wounds in this story.
Perhaps one of the most painful and taboo subjects is religious scandals and conflicts. Although the media continues to explore the problems in the ministry, many authors stray away from any formal critique of the ministry. The level of deceit, scandal, hypocrisy, inhumanity, lack of compassion, and manipulation by those who proclaim themselves as spiritually mature leaders explored in this book is just as riveting and surprising as in the fictional book, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. The Thorn Birds deals with the fall and redemption of a priest from immorality.
The depravity of man is such that at times the reader must accept that reality is more sensational than fiction. Dr. Johnson provides a balanced perspective on the ministry, is able to stray away from bashing those in the pulpit, and offers an honest critique of the church. Dr. Johnson is able to recognize and highlight the positive aspects of the ministry and offer solutions to correct problems in some modern ministries. Her balanced perspective offers hope and promise to heal those wounded by the church. Rather than speaking against Godís leaders, she allows the Word to judge, as the prophets of old spoke against corruption in the ministry and brought correction to help the great men of God who were as human and fallible as our current leaders. Dr. Johnson talks from a place of love to help and not to harm, so that the love of the Bible is spread and is not overshadowed by the desire to build larger ministries at the expense of the people.
Oil for the Wounded discusses Dr. Johnsonís personal wounds, but also the wounds of others who wanted to share their healing process to edify others. This book is excellent for those who are wounded, need compassion, those who feel dispassionate about life, need redemption, forgiveness, and compassion, and for those who want to help others professionally, informally to recover from wounds, or to redeem themselves from inflicting wounds.
Reaching Beyond, Inc.