Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9
About a month ago I gathered friends from different circles together to come and sit and talk about our death experiences at our home. What was meant to be an open place for sharing became much more than that. The table that we sat around became a place of healing.
While I knew one of my friends to be a wonderful hospice nurse, what I didn't realize was that in her military career prior to becoming a nurse, she built bombs as a soldier.
Another friend, a gifted doctor who cares primarily for teenage youth, grew up in another country, that was being consistently bombed while growing up and during her medical residency, she literally was "piecing" people back together again.
Those of us around the table suddenly became drawn into their conversation, realizing the importance of what was being shared, but more than that, what was being said, and how it was allowing for a sacred sharing that was unexpected healing.
Finding a place where we can be open about our wounds and our vulnerabilities can be rare, but are needed in order for us to encounter healing and wholeness.
While not all of us find ourselves sitting at a table, like the bomb maker and the doctor, we all know something about being hurt. Not all of us bear our wounds physically. There are wounds that effect us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I have to admit, when my two friends began sharing of their past experiences, I sat there and was surprised by what the two had "hidden away." There was no judgement, or embarrassment or shame, but rather empathy and understanding. Their words were no longer a source of pain, but rather, they were words of healing.
For those of us who were present, we also became aware that they were also then leading us into a place where our own woundedness could be shared, and that healing also might become present for us as well.
As we prepare to begin Lent next week, may we all consider that our journey this year be filled with encounters that allow us to experience healing. I am reminded that for each of us, Christ represents both woundedness and healing. Through Christ, we are one with God, even with our doubts and wounds, and through our experience we can be a source of healing for others as well.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.