How quickly do betrayal and slavery fall upon Joseph after his father gives him the coat of many colors, the symbol of his delight. We don’t know exactly how much time has passed, but those events are told in the same chapter in Genesis, barely verses apart. The result is a stark contrast, the time of being the beloved son cut short by a betrayal.
A boy’s heart is wounded in many ways. He is wounded when he does not live in a world made safe by his father, when he is not free to explore and dare and simply be a boy, when he is forced to grow up too soon. He is wounded when he does have that world, but it ends with a sudden loss of innocence. And most especially, a boy is wounded to the core when he does not know that he is the beloved son. Sometimes the wounding is intentional, oftentimes it is not, but this is the story of many, living in the world we have, so far from the Garden.