The two things on my mind this morning are healing and rest.
Healing is not easy. Healing requires work. It demands our whole person. There are no shortcuts or hacks that we can take around the very difficult process of healing. This process requires us and it requires the help of others. You’ll be surprised by the others who will be sent to help you heal when you surrender to the process. Chances are they will be the people you would have never picked.
For me, the process of healing did not begin until I was exhausted and until I had exhausted every way that I had (unknowingly) tried to heal myself. We may say we want healing but healing requires us to be honest about where we find ourselves and how we got here. Healing begins with truth and leads us to the deepest and hardest truths.
More than ever, I believe that there is a lot of healing that needs to happen. When I look around I see a lot of hurt and hurting people who need a place to rest, so they can tell the truth and heal.
A few months back, I watched a movie called “The Sisters Brothers.” (Spoiler Alert) It’s a strange movie but it’s a movie that sweeps you up in the story of two brothers who are always on the run and who are making one wrong move after another. After a series of tragic losses, the brothers end up resigned to the fact that they will always be on the run and they will always be hunted. Strangely enough, it is at this point of resignation when the brothers decide that they must kill the one man who is sending person after person to kill them. As they ride into town ready to kill or be killed, they discover the old man has died and with his death, they are finally off the hook and are completely free.
With the good news, the brothers ride to their mothers and after a somewhat of strange but healing encounter, they go into the house. The final scene is one of the brothers laying down to sleep as the sun shines through the window and a gentle breeze moves the curtain.
For me, this final scene made me want to weep for days because it embodied what rest feels like. Just that point of finally being able to breathe and trust that you can lay down and be vulnerable in the middle of the day because all that has weighed you down, hunted and crushed you has been exchanged for a lighter load.
Aren’t we tired of the fighting, the fear mongering, the doom and gloom, the despair and pride, the hypocrisy and the layers of self-righteousness, guilt, shame and fear that saturates our airways and are choking us to death? Aren’t we tired of deflecting, distracting and denying the truth that we are our biggest problem?
Rest doesn’t happen without healing and healing doesn’t happen without truth. Unfortunately, we are just like The Sister Brothers and we don’t even have the want for rest or healing until we can no longer outrun the fear, the guilt, the shame and the pain that’s been chasing us. I do believe it’s at this point when we have been ground to a halt that we are given a moment of clarity to see that our way, our truths and our lives as we say “Ain’t working.” It is clear that what we are doing collectively AIN’T WORKING IF WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC AND WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE FALLOUT IF EITHER CANDIDATE WINS.
Seriously, what do we need to see or experience to realize that “they” are not the problem. Surely, it is here we can turn and face the man who is causing all our problems- US.
Where is all this anger coming from? Do we really think we can legislate morality? Or that we can have the same consumer lifestyle as everyone else, suffer and die from the same diet-related disease and sickness as everyone else, watch the same crappy shows as everyone else, and entertain ourselves like everyone else- and then say “we are different and they are the problem?”
Remember, Paul didn’t blame his problems on The Romans or The Jews but on himself and he didn’t look to political parties to save him from himself.
The question that I have for each one of us today is not where does our country need to heal but where do I need to heal and what can I do or what truth do I need to bring to light to start that process?
I leave you with the following “Healing” by Wendell Berry written in 1977.