Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Walking Wounded

Last week, I felt like God was trying to elbow his way into my life.  Since I have been practicing making time for quiet God time in my life, I am uncomfortable when I don’t.  When I first started creating Sabbath time, it felt uncomfortable.  To do nothing felt lazy and selfish.  Now I am finding it essential to my sense of peace.  I have been busy, busy, busy in the last few weeks which also explains my lack of blogging – no time to listen.  My husband and I both had surgery within a few weeks of each other.  I was trying to make up lost time and feeling pressured to produce.  So, as I felt God trying to wedge His way in, I was telling Him, “give me a minute.”  Days went by…

I was invited to go to North Carolina to help another evangelist spread the Good News.   This was the first time that an invitation like this required me to travel by plane.  When I arrived at the airport last Friday, I heard an announcement over the loud speaker about a chapel in the terminal and that it was open to all.  I’ve done a bit of traveling through many airports and never in my life have I heard an announcement for a chapel.  I thought, “Okay, God.  You got me.  I’m yours for the weekend.  No more putting you off.”

As I approached the chapel, there was some construction nearby but the chapel was intact.  As I sat down and pulled out my phone to open my prayer app, I heard some clanging noises from construction workers.  I was a little disappointed.  Here I was trying to have some quiet time with God and it was going to be punctuated with bangs and clangs.  Making the best of it, I started my prayers and the clanging eventually subsided.  Then later, another noise started and I remembered something my older son says – that whatever is happening is supposed to happen.  I decided to just go with it and I realized this noise was different than before - a hammer.  It was a steady and heavy hammering.  I felt like I was listening to Jesus being nailed to the cross.  I meditated about the sacrifice that Jesus made and that I should never forget it.  I had forgotten that during the past week for sure.  Right before boarding, I heard the chapel announcement again – a spiritual bookend to this morning. 

A week before, we started another Seekers Forum at St. Mary’s.  This is a small group ministry for those new to our church.  It is an exploration in relationship with others and does not require a membership commitment.  This is what I was going to share in North Carolina.  I was teaching about creating a safe place for newcomers to share their faith journey.  As I do this work, I am continually touched by the stories I hear.  It is a great honor to walk with others in this way and not one of these stories is boring.  I have never heard someone talk about seeking God and thought, “well, that was nothing special.”  These are precious testimonies filled with joy and sometimes pain.  I am struck by how persistent even the wounded are in pursuing relationship with God.  The joy part is walking with others while they heal.   It is an amazing witness to God’s healing love.

Jesus was fatally wounded by being nailed to a cross.  And when God healed Him, He didn’t return Jesus to His condition prior to death.  Jesus had scars.  Scars that were evidence of God’s healing power to everyone who saw them.  I find it so interesting that God, who can do anything, made sure to leave scars when He healed Jesus.  The only time these scars are mentioned is when the disciple Thomas asks to see them.  I am so thankful for this scripture because it shows me that God’s healing is not an undoing of the wounding but a transformation of the wounding into a testimony of God’s power.  

Is it comforting to know that even if we have been deeply wounded, we can be healed by God?  Will your scars be a witness to others of your walk with God? 

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