“And the Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14a)
God designed our bodies with an amazing ability to heal when we get a cut. First, the platelets rush to the area to help the blood clot and eventually form a scab. After that, the surrounding skin builds up and gets thicker around the cut. This surrounding skin then stretches underneath the scab to give what it can to close the wound. The area that is left is filled with new tissue for new skin to be made, leaving behind a scar. When I learned about this process, I was immediately struck by how this mirrors what Christians are called to do when someone is hurting.
Some of us are the platelets that show up at the beginning of the event and give immediate care to stop the bleeding. Some of us build up around the wounded. Then, we stretch out our time, resources, and love to lend support toward healing. Just like new tissue must be created in a wound to our skin, only God can complete the healing by forming something new. We are invited to participate in this process, but what a relief that it is not completely dependent on us.
Many of us are good at being platelets, the first responders. It requires a deeper level of commitment to stick around and give of yourself. University is developing a “Ministry of Presence” to surround those living through hospitalizations, being homebound, or in rehabilitation centers. The season of Advent is all about God’s presence among us. We will have an informational luncheon following the 11am service on January 8 for those interested in sharing that gift of presence with others. If you would like to learn more about this new ministry before then, please contact me because I would love to meet with you.
Wounds are unfortunately inevitable on this side of heaven, and there will be a scar to serve as a reminder of what one has experienced. My prayer is that when looking at that scar, the pain and suffering are not all that is seen. We can also see the faces of those that loved us through a tough time and the faithfulness of a God who is present with us to carry us through to a new place.
Director of Care/Formation