I really don’t feel like writing tonight. Maybe that’s why I need to. This past week has been such a trial. A friend’s death. A friend in a physically abusive relationship. A friend’s reputation tarnished by a lying ex-boyfriend. My own failure to resist Satan’s whispers in my life. A friend going through such heartache she couldn’t put any words to her pain.
I was dried up this week. Emotionally parched. I started looking for something to quench that thirst. Oddly enough, I looked no further than the word liquid. It was on an old chocolate bar wrapper. I ate the bar over a year ago, but the wrapper, which was nothing more than a souvenir at the time, now serves as a tangible reminder of the day my journey in faith took a turn toward something new. On the back of the wrapper is a Scripture reference: John 7.38. Great reminder, I thought. But I certainly don’t feel like anything is flowing out of me. I feel more like living water is being drained from me.
In his blog Great Leaders Serve, Mike Leahy, Executive Director at Liquid Church, shared a note he received from someone at church. . .
“I know I have shared with you briefly that I have been struggling for a while. And one of the most painful things that I struggle with is loneliness and Sundays are especially hard. To be greeted with a welcoming smile and warm hearted hello is temporary comfort to my aching heart. Something as simple as saying hello can make a huge difference.”
I think one of the ways we are made in God’s image is our ability to heal. Small things that we do reflect the glory of Christ’s power. Christ touched the leper and he was cured of his leprosy. In much the same way, we as Christ followers have the same kind of power. We can provide healing to someone whose heart is broken. A smile, a hug, even a high five. . . these actions we perform day in and day out provide so much comfort and can actually temporarily heal the wounds that someone has suffered.
I gain a lot at church. I am moved emotionally through music. I am moved rationally through the classes and sermons. But something stood out vividly to me today. I can be healed at church. I can find temporary cures for the pain I’m suffering through seemingly unlikely means.
Chatting about a Cuban cigar with Jeff. Sharing an awkwardly goofy handshake with Tom. Blowing a high five and having a good long laugh about it with Beth. Sharing a few burdens with Laura. Smiles and updates from Lauren. Pats on the back from Dave B. Hand shakes and shoulder bumps from Bobby. Smiles and a CD from Suzy (I had totally forgotten I’d asked for that, by the way. If you’re reading this, Suzy, thanks! You’ve got quite the memory!).
I almost cry when I think about the kind of power each of those people have. Christ died to save us from sin. But the power of His love doesn’t stop flowing there. It keeps pouring out every time one of His followers shares a word of encouragement, puts an arm around someone who’s hurting, or listens as a broken heart exposes its painful contents.
And every time we do that, we mirror the healing power of the Great Physician.