I am still limping a bit after turning my ankle. The swelling is gone, but now the bruises are appearing with shades of black and purple reminding me… your healing. Healing does not always look pretty. I remember how ugly it was watching my burn heal over a year ago. Anyone that has ever had a black eye knows the looks of it out last the pain. Healing is not always a pretty sight.
Healing is a process. And depending on just how deep and severe our wounds have been will impact our healing. And exposure to repeated injury, even small ones, will impact an area that has already been injured. That is why a tender ankle may be walked upon, but full athletic and vigorous use will just continue to damage. And so to heal takes time and care.
What we do during times of healing will impact our outcomes and process. Those who live with addiction know at a deep and intimate level any exposure will be a set back. Those who are dealing with struggles with pornography, drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, gambling, anger, resentments or denial of reality going on within or around them will continue to cause injury to self and others like an athlete trying to heal from a sprained ankle that still competes and trains full throttle. Full healing will not happen.
Healing is difficult at times because we make active choices in the process. We often worry about what others see; what it looks like to them; and we worry about that and choose injury over healing. Even though an injury hurts, if we think it is easier than healing and looks and feels better we often choose injury over healing.
In our assigned gospel yesterday (Mark 8:27-38) Peter rebukes Jesus for his suffering, betrayal and crucifixion that Jesus told them was coming. The healing of all was a painful process. And Jesus responded by saying “get behind me Satan”. Jesus through his suffering brought us the gift of grace, forgiveness, love and salvation. Jesus advised all of us to take up our cross, and follow his teachings and example.
Sometimes seeking healing may seem like a cross for us to bear. We are not expected to be perfect, just as honest as we can be as we seek healing. By no means is healing a topic that can be covered in one writing. But the courage to understand it starts with honesty, sacrifice and courage helps. It also helps to understand what we see can just as easily be a persons healing; because sometimes healing and wound look similar. It is only when we uncover the threshold of pain and awareness being caused to self, others and the world that we begin to realize where we may be in the process.
I encourage and invite you to use your life and experiences and apply faith and see what God is doing in your life. Connecting life and faith and sharing that with others experience and understanding is one way God invites us to begin healing instead of living in a cycle of pain and wounds within and around us.
Prayer “Dear God help us this day understand the difference between wounded and healing as processes we live in, witness or cause within our self, families, church, community and world. Give us wisdom and courage toward this growth. Amen.”
Have a great week everyone!
I do not have a sermon to post until later this week, but there are many to be found at my YouTube homepage. That page is 150 away from 10,000 hits,and is found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJXYNhSJCqKVtCuKQzUS_hQ