August 9, 2011

Love Costs...Even at Church

Recall the story about bleeding woman in Mark 5:21-34.

Awareness and healing are important here, but I think there is a lot more to this story. Some people just wear us out, even at church. As one spouse told me, the first person who presents him or herself at your door and wants to be your best friend is usually the last person you need.

We’ve all been with those people who seem to suck the air out of the room. But I don’t think the woman in Mark was like that. Rather, I believe she was desperate. She surely had tried doctors, medicine, and probably every home cure she and her family could think of. Jesus was her only viable option. She sneaks up behind him and touches the hem of his garment and poof she is healed. She can feel it, but so does Jesus. He feels some of his power leave him.

Her touching him, his healing her, cost him. Any counselor can explain to you how this feels from their side--the one healing. There was plenty more power in Jesus, but that is not the point for us. Because we don’t have unlimited power, we need to be replenished. When someone touches us, whether consciously or unconsciously, we are affected. It costs us.

One thing that surprised me when I did counseling is that people do not identify with your strengths; rather, they unconsciously identify with your weaknesses. Probably because that is where we put our energy--trying to cover them up. Yes, we are wounded healers, but still wounded. And it can be difficult to overcome your own weaknesses, prejudices, character flaws, and even bad habits to reach out and help someone, no matter how desperate.

Yet, we are call to love fully. Yes, even those well-intentioned people in the church. But we need help. We need help keeping healthy and maintaining boundaries. We get tired and there are always desperate,needy people.

Where do you go to be replenished? How is it with your soul?

Grace, Kathy

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