Tag Archive: healing


Healing?

Allie Shulman, our Duke intern here at Millbrook UMC, preached a couple of weeks ago. It was a challenging message about what does faith in Christ look like when healing doesn’t come.  She is now home recovering from her own surgery. Then after recently tearing my ACL before Thanksgiving  12341514_10153774387120747_5084488869495171856_nI am now facing surgery of my own I was having a moment of being frustrated with my own body. It was in this moment of frustration of my body breaking in the midst of simple fun playing with kids her sermon came to mind . Here is a prayer that she incorporated into her sermon that I thought I would share.
I find it interesting how this “wound” has opened me up to relate with people in a new way. Even in small steps of empathy when I am slower going up or down a set of steps than before I now have experienced others in a new way who are slow on the steps. Somehow these “wounds can be openings to the beauty in us” and they help me to see the beauty in others.

We won’t give you some cliche – but something to cling to — and that will mean our hands.

We won’t give you some platitudes — but some place for your pain — and that will mean our time.

We won’t give you some excuses — but we’ll be some example — and that will mean bending down and washing your wounds. Wounds that we don’t understand, wounds that keep festering, that don’t heal, that down right stink — wounds that can never make us turn away.

Because we are the Body of the Wounded Healer and we are the people who believe the impossible— that wounds can be openings to the beauty in us.

We’re the people who say: there’s no shame saying that your heart and head are broken because there’s a Doctor in the house. It’s the wisest and the bravest who cry for help when lost.

There’s no stigma in saying you’re sick because there’s a wounded Healer who uses nails to buy freedom and crosses to resurrect hope and medicine to make miracles.

-from this site: http://sarahbessey.com/depression-fault/

Sunday night I had the chance to teach a little of our Methodism in America history along with a little bit about Millbrook UMC’s own history. It was an interesting experience for me to weave a story that covers hundreds of years in 50 minutes. Telling the story of history is interesting because you really have to work hard at being faithful to the story. You can’t say everything. You have to tell a story. So what things do you emphasize? What things do you leave out? Then come the questions about the motivation behind those choices. These questions I have dealt with has made me more keenly aware of the voices I listen to that are narrating the world around me.

IMG_1117Remembering the story this time I was struck how the Methodist church in America didn’t start as just another split in the long line of dissenting voices arguing about doctrine, money, or practice,  but out of a situation where the people participating in the Methodist movement had limited opportunity to participate in the sacraments like communion after America claimed independence from England. The other thing that grabbed my attention was how our faith family tree looks. While we didn’t start as a typical split we Methodists have had our splits, however there is something beautiful about seeing the lines come back together. Reconciliation between individuals is hard enough, but at an institutional level…. something tells me the Holy Spirit had to be involved in this. Even after one of the splits was over issues as intense as slavery there were efforts early on after the Civil War toward reconciliation.

There is still reconciling work to be done across racial lines today, and in this generation our Methodist movement faces a potential split over differences of understanding scripture in regards to sexuality. My hope is that we would remember the great moments of reconciliation that we have participated in before and our prayer at communion: “By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other and one in ministry to all the world.”

That’s the story I hope I am weaving.

Lord Jesus, you who taught us to pray ‘Our Father’, help us to understand the depth of significance of being apart of the ‘our’ together with those who differ from us so that together we find ourselves moved by your Holy Spirit in reconciling all things so that we reflect your kingdom and your will being done on earth, in us, as it is in heaven. Amen. 

Central Themes

During Lent I have been reading about how forgiveness is central to our Christian faith. God’s desire is for us not only to be reconciled to God, but also with each other. Forgiveness is to be our way of life together that makes this reconciliation possible. Our being human means we will hurt and be hurt by each other and God has made away for us to not destroy each other.

I hope you have been reading these: http://nccumc.org/reflections/lent-2015/. I have gotten behind on reading these, but found my way back and they are good. I hope and pray that this season of reflection on racial matters leads toward some healing in our world. In these readings I have seen how forgiveness has been central to moments of healing, and I’ve seen where forgiveness is still needed in our community (and in me).

Here are a few other things that our fellow United Methodist sisters and brothers are leading in that has made me excited today to be a part of this movement that is seeking to participate in the reconciling work of God:

Fruitful Conversations about Race videostream
Moving Faith Communities to Fruitful Conversations about Race, a moderated conversation sponsored by Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, DC), will take place on Tuesday, March 17. Panelists will include the Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels Jr., (district superintendent in the Baltimore-Washington Conference-UMC), the Rev. Tom Berlin, (senior pastor, Floris UMC), Ronald C. Machen Jr., (U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia), and the Rev. Rachel Cornwell, (lead pastor, Silver Spring UMC). Mike McCurry, Wesley’s distinguished professor of public theology and former spokesperson for President Clinton, will introduce the panel. All are welcome to this event on Tuesday, March 17, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at Oxnam Chapel at Wesley Theological Seminary or via livestream at www.wesleyseminary.edu/live. RSVPs are requested. RSVP to events@wesleyseminary.edu by March 12..

And then there is this:

Just Peace and “Leading in Anxious Times”

visit: http://justpeaceumc.org/.

Drawstrings

1996-1999_Buick_LeSabre

I was recently helping someone move out of an apartment to a shelter. It was a very dark situation for this person.  We loaded up a bunch of his belongings out of that dark place into my car and as we drove back to the shelter he began to share with me that he could not keep all that we had collected at the shelter. He was hoping that I could keep the remainder of his belongings and store them until he was in a better place. I felt frustrated. I felt stuck. I began began to realize that I simply wanted to drop him off, unload the stuff, and be done. If I kept any of his belongings there would be a string attached. I wouldn’t be done. I really wanted to go home and wash off all that I had seen in that dark place and be done. While driving to the shelter I quietly said a prayer during a break in our conversation. It was not audible, but God spoke. As I prayed that I didn’t want there to be a string attached, God said maybe there is supposed to be a string.  As I am writing this I still have his belongings in my car (I am putting some time in-between writing this and posting this online).  Now I find myself here knowing that God has something for each of us and in the coming days we will be connecting again. We will get together to prayerfully going through his things to decide between the things that are blessings moving him further into God’s good ways or things that are holding him back keeping him from God’s good future. I hope this will be a time of healing for each of us.

Lord Jesus, you have connected us with various strings of attachment. I pray that I wouldn’t cut the strings you long to pull to draw us closer into unity. Draw us together and make us one with you, one with each other and one in ministry to all the world. Pull our drawstrings.  Amen.