Musings from Mountains and Valleys-Healings
God goes belonging to every riven thing.
the things that bring him near,
made the mind that makes him go.
A part of what man knows,
apart from what man knows.
God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made.
From Christian Wiman’s poem Every Riven Thing
riven: [ riv-uhn ] violently divided; split apart
Perhaps the key play in the Super Bowl was Patrick Mahomes’s 26-yard run in the fourth quarter, with under 3 minutes to play, that put them in field goal range. Arguably one of the most gifted quarterbacks to ever play the game, set up his team for victory running on an injured ankle, clearly in pain. It should also be noted that there probably was not a player on the field, given the length of the season and the violence of the game, that was not dealing with some sort of nagging injury this past Sunday.
The same is true about life; in one way or the other we all are playing “hurt.” We are subject to vicissitudes of life and inhibit bodies subject to wear, tear, and pestilence. And then there are the wounds of the heart and mind that we carry; some that scar and others that fester. It would be interesting (or maybe not) if we all had to answer with total candor when asked, “How are you?”
A central aspect of Jesus’s ministry was healing broken people. In last week’s text when Jesus is confronted for “hanging out” with sinners, he responds with the metaphor “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick” (Luke 5:31). Which leads to the question of what is the ultimate cure that Jesus offers?
Jesus healed the sick and it is legitimate that we pray for those we love and ourselves in the midst of physical ailments. But we need to be reminded that even when the miracle happens, it is temporary. Everyone who Jesus healed ultimately died. But there is a deeper healing of the heart and soul that is offered by the “tender mercies God.” There is a wounded love that dwells in the eternal now, that is both free and costly. This is the journey of faith and one we will take closer look at during Lent.