Wake, of Japanese American descent, retired in 1990 from parish ministry in several United Methodist churches in San Francisco. An active leader in the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, he spoke on the theme “Wounded Healers” at the 1978 National Convocation on Asian American United Methodist Churches. The address was printed in the March 1979 issue of Engage/Social Action, from which the following quotations were taken.
“The very basis of compassion is community. Participation in the human ecstasies and agonies is the meaning of compassion. We become compassionate persons, we keep alive our sense of compassion in the midst of callousness, by being in communities. How easy it is for us to be paralyzed by our inabilities and frustrations to address adequately world-wide problems. In smaller groups…we are free to become compassionate, to respond to the problems of persons within our reach.”(p.13)
“I’ve discovered that people who do the most talking about God’s love do so because they want God, not themselves, to do the loving. They are, in effect, saying, ‘God, you love that person; I don’t want to love that person; I have a very difficult time loving.’ And so we talk very blithely about God’s love. We are the ones who ought to do the loving.”(p.14)
“The only criterion for action is love. I hesitate to use that word because love has become so distorted. The opposite of love is not hate; it is aloofness, apathy, indifference. The love I am talking about is not a romantic love; it is a love that very often takes sides, that takes the side of the oppressed. It is a love that tears down evil systems so that it can build up people who have been dominated by and dehumanized by those systems.”(p.15)
“There are three ways in which men and women deal with their wounds. One is to cry, one is to be silent, another is to turn the pain into joy and healing. Blessed are the wounded who respond with the totality of their lives to bring health and healing and joy to all people.”(p.16)