WorkIng Hard To Heal WoundsJon Burgess
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
Things were not well in the Corinthian church. The accusers of Paul had doubled down in their attacks. The sins in the church weren't being addressed the way he asked them to do in the first letter. Paul makes it clear that, depending on how hard they work on addressing these issues, his next visit in person may not be too much fun. This letter would have been read in front of the congregation in Corinth. I picture the awkward silence in between sentences, the accusing glances across the room, the few who don't even dare lift their heads and can't wait until it's over so they can slip out the back. Before the blame game can start though, Paul tells them to get to work on healing the wounds of their brothers and sisters. The wording for "strive for full restoration" is literally calling them to "mend what is broken" and to perfectly join back together what has been torn apart. Paul is making it clear that we haven't been called to nurse our own wounds or to wound others that we blame for our wounds, but instead to give all we've got to healing the wounds around us. It won't happen automatically. It's going to take a whole lot of work to heal the holes in our relationships.
Speaking of holes, Aden had a gaping one in his leg after being impaled on a pole hook he fell on this past Tuesday night. We knew it was a good one when we brought him in to the Kapiolani ER and everyone stopped what they were doing to take a look. Thankfully, they did more then gawk and talk. They sprang into action to determine the best course of action. After some pain meds and an X-ray they knew they had to put him under anesthesia and operate. They worked with such precision and purposeful coordination that my son Aden was under the knife not two hours after receiving the injury. He was walking out the hospital on crutches less then 24 hours later! Oh, that we would strive for full restoration of relationships in the church this way! That we would move with one mind, peaceful yet purposeful in manner, the way the ER team did for my son. The problem is our gaping wounds are hidden under church clothes and smiles so we just walk on by. The longer a wound is left untreated the more infection is likely to spread or the patient is likely to bleed out. In light of this, the urgency in Paul's words make a whole lot more sense. We need to move past pretending we don't have wounds or passing by the wounds we've caused, to striving for reconciliation with those around us. It won't happen naturally. It must happen supernaturally through humility and intentional conversation that leads to healing. Let's work hard to heal the wounds around us the way we would want someone to do for us!
Thank you Lord for healing me through the care and love of those around me. Use my hands and words to bring healing to those around me as well. Thank you for the team that brought expert and quick healing to my son. Help me to raise up such a team at New Hope so that all who come may find healing. "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17