by Barry Newton
The ongoing cost in quality of life continues to be staggering. Some situations so powerfully gnaw at the human spirit that seeking reprieve can dominate and distort all of life. Although someone may appear normal on the outside, the person in the mirror, at the end of a bottle, standing before the cash register, sitting at a computer screen or holding a fork may feel justifiably unforgiven.
In a fig leaf effort to cover over reality, humanity frequently will attempt to redefine deviancy, seek refuge in denial or even self-medicate with further destructive behavior. My goal is not to poke a stick into a wound which is so deep that it often causes self-loathing. Rather, it is to remind us and to redirect our attention toward a God who really does understand and cares in a way that even other humans do not.
God’s tools for healing do not involve superficial measures like denying that self-centeredness, greed, and hurting others or self is in fact evil. God does not resort to calling green the color red in an attempt to mask reality. God confronts the worst part of who we are head on. It is ugly, shameful and evil. Left to itself, it will destroy us.
Not only does God know all of this, he has provided the only surgery and deep healing which is capable to truly free and heal our very being from its pervasive pernicious domination of our lives. His Son whom he loved was nailed to a wooden cross. Through the events on that cross, the Creator promises he can be just in exercising his power to recreate the broken into the forgiven healed, to take identities twisted by evil and recast them as his own people.
The Great Physician offers these promises of the new covenant to heal our deepest needs. But there can be no healing unless we enter the surgery room. While evil would afterward attempt to keep an imaginary chain about each of our necks to drag us through continued self-loathing, having been recreated by God’s power our task involves acknowledging and praising God’s work. The healed have always jumped for joy.
by Barry Newton