Sunday, March 06, 2005

necessary wounds

a trepidatious newcomer joined our bible study, late, as usual. she took her seat with a quick, determined step. she eyed the attendees with suspicion. she went on too long during prayer requests about how she has been hurt.

and it made me wonder.

the easy thing to say is,
we won't hurt you.

the knee-jerk reaction is to say,
you can trust us.

and when i heard these things being said, i turned to my husband and asked,
aren't we essentially setting ourselves up to hurt her if we tell her we won't hurt her? isn't it inevitable that we will if we say we won't?

long have i struggled with the proverb (27:6):
the wounds of a friend are faithful.

they never feel that way. they simply hurt. friend or foe, pain is pain. often it takes time and wrestling with God for me to find the "faithfulness" of a rebuke or wound.

without effort i am now reminded of the many wounds friends have faithfully supplied. perhaps these are our earthly surgeons? these are the scalpels in the hands of the Great Physician. perhaps.

community begets conflict. community begets pain.

the only way we can assure that woman we will not hurt her is if we run her off (thereby inflicting another set of pains). the only way we can instruct the woman to "not be hurt" again is to wall her into her musty cellar of isolation brick by brick. but that is not without its own set of pains as well.

we cannot not hurt her. it is impossible.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Hi Suz,
What a wise observation. I think you're right.

Human beings will invariably let us down. There are no perfect friendships, except our friendship with Christ, but we're the ones letting Him down all the time.
He remains faithful.

interesting book reviewz too