On Sunday night Gregg offered up a question: what types of concerns or compassions have been laid on your heart in regards to our community (specifically the city of Newberg)? He didnít want to get into major detail about them – our meeting was more to prime our ears and open our eyes rather than decide upon a plan of action. Thatís when my friend shared her walking story. Others shared wonderful things: to help provide affordable housing for folks trying to get out of poverty, to provide financial counseling, to help teens overcome the apathy towards drugs, to provide support for teen moms.
I didnít share my impressions: I feel like Iíve somewhat said them before. Again, I felt a compassion for my friends, especially in regards to blessing and healing. We were the ěgoodî kids: went to Sunday School, attended all youth group and youth yearly meeting functions, acted in drama and band and choir (the ěsafeî school activities) and only played sports that didnít involve having to chew or beat the crap out of somebody (basically – tennis, maybe track, mostly tennis). We felt ěset apart.î
But now, not so much. That whole Barna statistic of ěChristian stats and non-Christian lifestyle stats are pretty darn similarî has totally come into play. I respect my friendsí decisions to create a life for themselves; I hurt to see how many of them appear to be hurting, aimless, lonely – even though we look like ěeverybody elseî now – the larger group of our peers – we’re more alone.
I wonder what wouldíve happen if they had words of blessing spoken into their lives: words from God as He sees them in the future giving them guidance for what they should/need/will become. As they wander without these words, they encounter all sorts of hurts from the world and have no sort of refuge or place of triage. The church *should* be this place, but for whatever reason, they arenít finding it in the shape the church is in their lives. Christ spent most of his time doing two things: teaching *and* healing. The teaching thing we seem to have down pat (almost a little *too* pat) . . . but the healing part?
And how am I supposed to minister to my friends much less others when Iím still carrying wounds? My ministry wonít be pure unless those get taken care of; they will taint everything I do and say – they anchor me from becoming who Godís called me to be. Graham Cooke says our job isnít to avoid getting hurt; itís to get healed up faster.
I wish things would be fixed so that God would stop aching so Heíd stop making me ache because, like my son, Heís awfully persistent *and* insistent: what a combo.
What means of healing do you see taking place in your worship gatherings? Iíd really appreciate hearing your examples, hoping one of them sparks an idea of what to do with this impression rather than circular pontification.