It’s funny isn’t it? As much as we want to move on from a bad situation it still lingers with us. The wounds we take from people can often last an entire lifetime. Granted some of us do lead pretty blessed and charmed lives, but I feel that the overwhelming majority of us live a life that is full of trials and hardships. We all face some things in out life which wound us deeply. No matter how much we try to not let it get to us, or move on we live with those wounds forever etched into our memories. I remember when i was younger that I had a “friend” who would constantly make fun of me because i didn’t wear fashionable clothes, or wasn’t as athletic as the other kids. I did learn from that and did grow, but I still carried those wounds with me. More recently i have had a few experiences that have left me wounded and hurting. I hadn’t realized how deep these wounds went until recently. But my wounds are not the reason I am writing this blog post today.
Yesterday was the Feast of Saint Luke the physician. The Saint for whom my new church is named. We, as a congregation, observed the feast on Sunday. This was done through a healing service. I am very blessed to be a part of a church that is allowing me to heal and to grow…
This last week I had been talking with people about wholeness. We examined the part of Genesis where God gives Abram a new name and forms a covenant with him. There was one thing that stood out to me the most. It was the word Blameless. God asked Abraham to be Blameless. I started to think about this a lot, because honestly I feel like it is an impossible task to be blameless. So as I was talking to people about this and studying it I heard that this word is also translated as whole. So God asked Abraham to be whole. What does this mean to be whole? I think it means to be completely in the place you are. I think it means that whatever it is that you are to do that you go at it with everything you are. That you don’t let the wounds of your past overcome you. You don’t let the worries of the future overwhelm you. You are present. You are here, now.
At the healing service, Father Eric talked about how God doesn’t just work in the spirit area of our lives it is in all of us, the whole being. He talked about how we let our bodies go or we don’t exercise our brains, but think we are alright because we are spiritual. He talked about training for the marathon and how it has really helped to be disciplined in his spiritual life as well. This service has stuck with me. I have been thinking a lot recently about healing and wholeness.
I think one of the things that prevents many of us from wholeness is ourselves. We elect ourselves our own persona judge and jury. We decide that we must have in some way deserved what came to us. That it is all 100% our fault and we must be cursed and we want that wounding to stay to remind us we are bad people. We stand in the way and think nothing should or does go right for us because of all that bad stuff we may have done. That, I am coming to find, is a lie. Seriously, how egocentric can we be that we have the final say on our forgiveness. I truly am glad I am not God otherwise i would have condemned myself for something minuscule and insignificant. We don’t want to be whole because we feel we don’t deserve it because we made fun of a girl in middle school because she had “hamster” cheeks. So those wounds are our penance in a way. I have experienced this in a weird way too. I recently moved and took a new position. Everything seemed to go so well and seemed to fall into place so well that I became a little paranoid. I felt like something horrible must be coming because surely I didn’t deserve this. Funny thing grace is isn’t it?
The Gospel is this though. God loves us and there is nothing we can do to change that. NOTHING!!!! Seriously, God still loves us even though we made fun of that kid. God still loves us even though we do things in life that hurt others. God still loves us even though we feel like we don’t deserve it. With that love comes the desire for us to be whole. God asks us to be whole. What is interesting is that God puts that on us. It is our choice to be whole. We are the ones who stand in our way. We have to overcome our own condemnation and egos. We need to let go of those wounds that we think pay for our forgiveness. We let go of those burdens and God heals. I think I have stated before that we have to want to be healed, before we can actually be healed. The problem though is that healing isn’t instantaneous either. So we sit there with those wounds in front of us all the while taunting us wanting us to take hold of them again to somehow pay for the mercy and grace that is bestowed upon us.
I want to be whole. I want to forgive myself for the silly mistakes I have made in my life (uh yes that one story is true about making fun of a girl in middle school, and i still torture myself because of it). I came forward during our “Episcopalian altar call” at the healing service on Sunday. For the first time in a long time I felt God’s spirit upon me. I felt the healing beginning to take place. It reminds me that God loves me still. The problem is like I said those wounds are still in front of me. I still want to take them back. I pray that God will keep me from that. I want to be whole. I want to be healed.
I think there is one other part to that as well. I think you need make amends as well. You do need to apologize to those you hurt. Sometimes you do need to be reminded of those things so that you can show love to those who you didn’t show love to before. But that is a whole different blog post for a different day.