Reflections - Oct. 6, 2017

Heroes

dan

I woke up Monday morning the same way most of you did: to the horrifying news of the shooting in Las Vegas. Since that time, I have listened as people expressed shock, anger, frustration, and hopelessness. I have also noticed how so many acted heroically. They have looked for ways to be a source of healing and hope amidst the pain and heartache.

In one sense, Las Vegas seems so far away. In another sense, it is right around the corner. For example, even though the situations are radically different, here in our own Church we have seen a lot of heartache and heartbreak over the last week or two. People we have loved have died. People we cared about have taken their lives. Yet, amidst it all, I have watched as members of our Church have wrapped their arms around those with broken hearts to love them through the experience.

I thought about Jesus and how Jesus was so quick to reach out to those who had been broken by life. To those cut off from others by leprosy, he dared to touch them at the very point of their pain. We're told that when he saw the crowds he had compassion on them. On the night before his own crucifixion, he took his disciples off to the side to speak to them; not so they could minister to him, but that he might help prepare them for the pain they were going to feel when the cross became a reality. And, in the face of death, he offered the promise of eternal life.

Thinking about all of this, I was reminded that one of the things Jesus asks of his church is that we might be instruments of his healing presence wherever we encounter pain. It is not that Jesus wants us to deny our feelings. He does not. Only by being aware of our own heartache are we able to move through it to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Rather, I think Jesus is asking us to use our pain to identify with others. "Wounded healers" is the term Henry Nouwen gave to describe this experience.

Not everyone opts for this approach. In fact, it probably cuts across the grain of our natural instincts. That said, if you are like me whenever you encounter someone who does seek to be a wounded healer, you find they are a source of inspiration and hope in what otherwise might feel quite hopeless. The word that comes to mind as I think about people like this is the word, "heroes."

Rev. Dan Brown
Senior Pastor

 

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8:45 a.m. Fellowship Hall

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8:45 a.m. Sanctuary

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