Wounded by Pastor James Collins

Pastor James Collins


He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

The hood of her jacket was pulled low over her face hiding her eyes. Without exception, she wore the same long-sleeve hoodie, even in warm weather. Juston glanced at her and smiled as she stepped onto the school bus. “Hello, Angelica,” he said. She gripped the handrail tighter and looked up at him from underneath her hoodie. Her face was pale. She didn’t return his smile.

Angelica stepped into the aisle and sat down in the front seat behind him. She always sat in the front seat. All the other high school kids were in the back of the bus, but not Angelica. She sat in front with the kindergarten kids.

Juston closed the door, shifted gears, and pulled the bus out of the school parking lot. He looked up at Angelica’s reflection in the rearview. She never looked up. Her crossed arms wrapped around her body, hugging herself.

“Do you like pizza?” he asked over his shoulder. “You probably think I just drive this bus all day long,” he continued. “But this is not my real job. I only do this to make ends meet. I’m the pastor for students at First Baptist. Our youth group is having pizza tonight. You should come.” He peeked up at the mirror to see her reply, but she still never looked up. So, they drove on in silence.

A few minutes later, the bus pulled up in front of her house. As she was stepping off, Juston said, “Church starts at seven.” She paused, then continued out the door without looking back.

Juston was surprised that night when Angelica walked into church. She sat in the back, away from everyone else. She never looked up as Juston shared the gospel. After he finished speaking, she grabbed a slice of pizza and hurried out the door.

He was surprised again next week when she came back.

Can I talk to you?” she asked. Juston nodded, “Sure.”

Before we talk, I need you to take this.”

What’s this?”

Open it.”

Justin unzipped the small black case to reveal the contents inside – razorblades. It was full of razorblades. Angelica pulled up her sleeves. Scars started at the top of her arms and continued down to her wrists.

Trembling and sobbing, she shared her story. It was a tragedy – a story of abuse. Someone she loved and trusted had done unspeakable things to her. Eventually, her heart numbed. As a way of “feeling” something, she became a cutter.

She reached in her pocket and handed him a piece of paper – a suicide note.

A week ago, I decided to end my life. Then you invited me for pizza. Now, I don’t want to die. I want to live, and I want to know this Jesus you keep talking about…”

That night, Angelica gave her life to Jesus Christ. Today, she and her husband are missionaries in South America. They just had their first child – a baby girl.

Last week, I heard Juston share Angelica’s story at church camp. As I listened, I realized that the world is full of Angelicas. The world is full of scarred, wounded people. But Jesus Christ can bind up your wounds.

The point is: Only Jesus can heal your broken heart. Like Angelica, you can bring Him your disappointments, your griefs, and your wounds. Whatever you are going through, there is healing in Jesus.

On the cross, Jesus bore our sins. By His wounds you have been healed. Step out in faith and place your life in His nail-scarred hands.

James Collins is Senior Pastor at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church.

2 thoughts on “Wounded by Pastor James Collins”

  1. I’m so glad you are the pastor of the church there in Fort Scott. We pray God will do a mighty work through you there. We lived in Fort Scott three times.

  2. All your stories have touched my heart and this one really did. We never know what other people are going through. One kind word may mean the world to them.
    Thank you for sharing !

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