When the Body Hurts

I cannot take a moment of credit for these thoughts… but I must share them.

Today in church, our vicar proclaimed, “The power of the body of Christ is being able to bring your true self – your beautiful, wounded, fallible self and find love and acceptance.”

AH!  So that’s why it hurts so much when we our present our true self to our faith community and we are rejected, or cast aside, or our gifts are not needed.  It’s as if a member of our own family has wounded us.  It’s a deep, personal, and painful wound, like the empty ache of a daughter whose mother has rejected her, or the shame and sorrow of a son who never receives his father’s approval.  That kind of familial pain penetrates deep into our souls and can affect us for a lifetime.

I confess.  I’ve been wounded by the body of Christ.  And I know many of my dear friends have been as well.  I’ve been pondering why it hurts so much, and my pastor’s insight today made so much sense.  As Ephesians 4 says, “we share one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all and in all.”

Church, when there is division among us, when I am cast aside because someone thinks I’m not good enough, when my gifts are not welcomed in the body, it’s not a wound from a good friend.  It’s rejection from a family member of the closest kind, a blood and water relative.  And it hurts.  For years.  It hurts.

I want to write something at this point with a perfect little solution, a bandaid, to make the hurt better.  I’m old enough, and maybe finally wise enough, to know there is not a magic bandaid.  A kiss won’t make it better, won’t heal the wound, or even dry the tears.

img_2970But I believe that coming to the Table will. Coming to the table where Jesus will feed me and cleanse me, will begin the healing.  I’ll need to come back again and again.  But thank God, there is always room for one more at his Table.

Wounded Friends, Come.  Come and Dine.  Come and Feast.
Come and Rest.
Come.  Heal.

Take and eat.  The Gifts of God for the People of God.  Amen.