The great challenge for the future church won’t be filling pews on Sundays, but rather living and speaking authentically into the cultural pain and ache of our day. Jesus is leading the church where religious hype and cultural callousness cannot go. Our worship before God can never justify our poor relationships. Jesus calls us to restore the broken altars of our families, friendships and relationships before we bring our worship to the altar of God. Reconciliation begins with hearing. Healthy church creates safe, vulnerable, disarming space to hear and be heard by others. A wounded church desperately needs a revival of hearing.
Wounds are not permanent! Wounds tell you where you were but they don’t tell you where you’re going. Where you’re going is more whole, more powerful, stronger, faster, smarter, more important, more valuable, more prosperous than you’ve ever been before.
I once thought I defeated the evil in my heart. I learned something: We can face our demons, burn them up, stomp them into the ground. I turned mine to ashes. But even if you destroy the evidence of evil, you can’t heal your heart. Not by yourself.
It is useless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing.
Maybe we wonder if God can take all that goes on in our mind and heart. Maybe we simply want to hold on to our own pleasurable imaginings, afraid that in showing them to our Lord, we may have to give them up. Thus, we are constantly tempted to fall back…out of fear or out of greed, and to keep from our God what often is the most in need of His healing touch.
God’s wounded often make his best soldiers.
Many will charge that dragging up the past is fruitless and wastes time on things that are best forgotten…but emotional wounds are like physical ones: They do not heal if they are neglected; they only become infected and can become life damaging. The hurt must be brought into the light and treated.
The gospel of a broken heart demands the ministry of bleeding hearts…We can never heal the needs we do not feel. Tearless hearts can never be heralds of the passion. We must pity if we would redeem. We must bleed if we would be ministers of the saving blood.
There is the self-pleasing sarcasm; as if we had rather lose a friend, than miss a clever stroke. All this the world excuses as a sensitive and lively temper. But the gospel sets before us our Saviour’s example (1 Peter 2:23); imbues with his spirit; and imparts that blessed “charity, that is not easily provoked” (1 Cor. 13:5); and therefore is careful not to provoke a chafed or wounded spirit. If others begin, let us forbear from continuing the strife. `Patience is the true peace-maker’. Soft and healing words gain a double victory – over ourselves and our brother.
The divine awakening produces in the soul of the perfect a flame of love which is a participate of that living flame which is the Holy Spirit Himself…this is the operation of the Holy Spirit in the soul that is transformed in love, that His interior actions cause it to send out flames…This flame wounds the soul as it is given, but the wound is tender, and, instead of causing death, it increases life; for the soul is holiest that is most wounded by love.