Thursday, February 02, 2006

wounded healers

Henry Nouwen brought to light the truth of what we see in Isaiah 53 and what we see in the final pages of the gospels. Jesus was the "wounded healer." It was by his wounds that we are healed. Its a powerful truth. I began this week to wonder what implications this may have for the church. If indeed we are the "Body of Christ," how do we see this truth apply to us.

As the body of Christ we are his hands and feet. Throught the Holy Spirit, we are the remaining humanity of Christ in the world. As he acts in history, God works and moves through the Church. Not that he doesn't act and move in other ways and through other means, but the Church is his favorite tool. To use some cheesy sports analogies: we are his go to golf club, his favorite wooden bat, his best basketball shoe. Now switching to medicine: we are his scalpel (although dull and rusty sometimes).

So if Jesus was the wounded healer, does that mean we are now called to take up that cross too? Maybe it isn't our style and relevance so much. Maybe it isn't our big budgets, cool furniture, or multi-media. Maybe it isn't our prayer stations, lit candles, post-modern decorating and corduroy pants. Icing is nice, but I am more of a cake man myself. So where is the cake amongst all this powdered sugar? In our wounds.

We are a church full of wounded people. Some abused in various ways. Some rejected. Some self-defeating. Others infested with selfishness. All wounded, either by ourselves or by others. And so we seek the healing balm of Jesus. By his wounds we are healed. But then what? Are healed wounds able to become wounded healers? I would say that our wounds can heal others whether they are still bleeding or just scars.

Jesus' wounds healed. They killed him first, but they were healed in the end as he rose from the dead. He never did get rid of those scars. Thomas needed them to be there. Maybe that is why he kept them around. Maybe that is why our wounds tend to stay around too. Sometimes they stay around fresh and other times they just stay around as scars, but they are there. And maybe God needs them there. Maybe for us to become healers, we need them to be there too.

On his throne God says to the church, "By His wounds, you are healed." What if God was also saying to the world about the church, "By their wounds, you will be healed."


At 12:05 AM, Blogger tali said...

interesting. we are his hands and feet. and as i recall, those hands and feet had to be pierced.


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