By Elisa Morgan
Can I ask you something?
Are you in a ditch? A what? A ditch. You know, a rut – whether within an existing road to a known destination, or just off the shoulder of such a road. A ditch.
A few weekends ago I filled in for my ailing pastor and preached for the four services. My topic was “Broken Families.” The big idea of my sermon was that I come from a broken family…my family is still broken…we all come from a broken family…because God’s family is broken. In each service, God poured healing and hope out on families of all shapes and sizes. I was humbled to participate. (You can catch the audio of this message at http://www.coloradocommunity.org/sermon/broken-families/ and the video at http://vimeo.com/23211866)
After one of the services, through the winding line of folks waiting for prayer and to be anointed with oil, an elderly woman hobbled toward me with the aid of her cane. Her shock of white hair was every 70-year-old’s dream shade of wisdom and came not from a bottle but from life. Her eyes shown with brilliant emotion.
I tipped my tiny bottle of oil onto my finger and reached to her forehead where I anointed her broken family in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I prayed that God would hallow her broken family, hold her broken family, help her broken family and heal her broken family. She accepted the blessing and then opening her eyes, she took my hand and said, “Elisa, God wants to heal the little girl that is you as well.”
I met her gaze of love and nodded. I knew. I’d known for years. Through multiple seasons of therapy, prayer, Scripture application and life, I’d experienced layers of God healing my “little girl”, the one that was so frayed from my original family. But in this woman’s choice of present tense: God wants to heal, I understood that while God has healed, he still wants to heal me. In fact, in the months preceding that weekend of the broken, God had been gently peeling back a new layer of release in my soul – one where I was accessing his love for me without platform, place or title. His “just because” love.
In our lives: our relationships as friends, wives, moms and workers, we tend to fall into the same ditch over and over again. Motoring along toward our planned destinations, we note the traffic signals and adjust our speed to the traffic around us. When all at once we find ourselves on the shoulder of the road, stuck in the very familiar ditch of a past definition, in the rut of a scar from an historic wound.
So stunned that we here – again – we stare down at ourselves as the injury reopens and pulls us in. A sinking stuckness surrounds us. Eventually we come to our senses and realize while we’ve been here before, we’ve also found our way out before. We remember. We look up and God comes and offers – again – a hand up and out.
We are wounded, broken folks who were and are in the process of healing. We get stuck not when we remember this, but when we forget it.
Need a hand up?