We regularly (and willingly) expose ourselves to verbal (and sometimes physical) assault every day. If you are a sports fan or player, the field is fraught with hits and emotional highs and lows. Winners ride the wave of victory, losers retire to lick their wounds with analysis of what went wrong with this or that play. Injured players visit their physical therapists for treatment.
If you follow the news or enter the arena of politics, you will be fastening your seatbelt and donning your armor. It is rough out there these days! With our proclivity for negative campaigning, you are sure to encounter blows to your viewpoint or your election hopes. You may even find yourself in the offensive mode, dolling out verbal points to shoot down the opposition.
We need to be healed!
Fortunately, many of our congregations will be offering healing services this month. It is logical to do so if you are following the lectionary. I suggest that it is critical to do so, given the frenzy of human relationships at all times, but particularly during these months when we are assaulted by the voice of campaign competition at every turn.
Without accepting the constant flow of God's grace which can heal us at the deepest levels, we may find ourselves behaving in toxic fashion. Knitted brows and clenched jaws can result in disorders of digestive and immune systems. Frayed nerves can elevate anxiety that transforms us into emotional tinder boxes. Anxious minds are often confused, narrow minds.
Every day, in an infinite number of ways, we are ALL in need of healing!
Physical: We desire physical wellness, although it will always and evermore be a temporary reality. We are, as we know, dust, and even the most vigorous human body will one day return to dust. Still, we pray that our bodies will be healthy for the time we walk the earth.
Mental: The intellect and its capacity to process and respond to reality's information grows throughout our physical life. At times it can suffer at the hand of a wide array of challenges. At other times it will be keen and clear, especially as we surrender our human understanding to the mystery of how we can see the world with the Mind of Christ.
Emotional: Indeed, our actions and interactions emerging from feelings may offer a foretaste of the eternal. People will remember how they felt in our presence long after our faces have disappeared from earth For us, our emotional landscape may tremor with aftershocks at the sound of a voice or an image long past. Feelings that are not healed can form shackles around our hearts and minds.
Spiritual: There it is-the entry point to eternity. When we lean into Christ's healing presence through word and sacrament we cross the threshold. When we are spiritually healed, our feelings, thoughts and yes, all that we "do" with our bodies becomes a beacon which illuminates and directs others to God's eternal love, wisdom and compassion. When we are spiritually whole we dwell in peace-during our limited, finite days and then, for evermore!
How do you wish to be healed and made whole? What words of healing, consolation, and reconciliation can you offer to the "other" today?