Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"This is Going to Hurt!"

"AAAARGH! HSSSS! Dad, could you try not to drive over cracks in the road! Try to turn slowly and stop slowly too. This really hurts..."

"AAAh. That was a good nap. Where am I? Oh, there's my bike. There's my cracked helmet. Is it broken? What's wrong with my head? It feels flat like a pancake!"

"Woa! That hurt. He just kicked me in the face! Ouch! I can't believe I'm still standing! I'm fine everybody. Uh oh, I don't feel so good, everything is getting fuzzy."

"Alright, here I sit in the woods, totally alone. Surely my arm is just seperated. That means 4-6 weeks of recovery and I'll get to ride again. Let me try to move it. Hmmm... I don't think my arm is supposed to sound like a bowl of rice crispies."

"Oh no! Yikes! Woops! Shoot! Wow, where did that come from! Oh deary me (in French)!" are thoughts that typically preceed the ones I've expressed above. As one joke goes: What are a redneck's last words? "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

I grew up a cautious kid. My brother taught me this. He did everything but spotaneously combust. But as I grew older a little of the Evil Knievel got into me. I don't know how. He just did.

It started with an innocent drop of the curb with my bike at age 25ish and now that I'm 34 I regularly jump my bike 10 feet in the air. I don't say this to brag. Nobody seems too impressed. Most just shake there heads in wonder. Especially when they're the ones who drive me to the hospital. (In case your worried, I haven't been to the hospital in about 5 yrs., knock on wood.)

But there was some sort of shift that occured in my thinking or perhaps resulted from one of my innocent blows to the head. It had me seeking adventure, and often as not, also had me in the emergency room filling out reams of paperwork and answering zillions of mundane questions.

Where do they get those questions anyway? "Have you ever eaten fertilizer in the presence of an ant?" "I don't know!"

Perhaps my concussions effected the questions. I dunno...

So why am I relating painful thoughts from my recent past? Is it to illicit sympathy. I'll never turn down sympathy. But the real reason is something Melissa said to me last night, "I feel like I'm dislocated, that my whole life is dislocated."

If there's anything I can relate to it's dislocation. If any of you have seen Mel Gibson attempt to reset his shoulder in Lethal Weapon and have tried to do so yourself, you know that dislocation feels different than it does in the movies, apparently. I felt like a very small beaten up poodle after that particular episode of "Phil is just as cool as Mel Gibson."

But Melissa was getting at something we all feel. There's always something wrong. Something is constantly amiss in our lives. Something we can't quite place our finger on but know simply isn't the way it should be.

This dislocation or brokenness we live with determines the way we interact with the world. We relate to others in it's shadow, and we hide it, smother it, medicate it, excuse it, and pretend it simply doesn't exist.

If we're to be biblical or real, we have been literally ripped from our home! We belong in Eden as children of God. We lived in creation as slaves to Satan. We are/were truly dislocated.

The Gospel is about God's great work as a physician. But as believers, we still have the lingering effects of dislocation. The drunken wooziness, resembling my concussions, still permeate our lives. We still feel dislocated. We still relate dislocated. We still hurt.

In a culture of instant fixes, our lives with God certainly don't move within our time-tables. We underestimate the ongoing effects and power of sin, we pridefully claim victory where all we're doing is stroking our spiritual egos, and, perhaps most sadly, we rarely relate to our fellow humans in their dislocation.

God's timing is not our own. If he were to snatch us up to him, that would be his timing. If he were to instantly sanctify us, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

But our God seems to be one of process, and wants us involved in a process where we participate in resetting the dislocated world around us (Which is quite a privilege!). I have friends, believing friends, that are in so much pain that they can barely believe. I have friends, believing friends, who woke up this morning and jumped out of bed ready to serve the Lord but by this afternoon will find themselves, weary, dissenchanted, and, yes, wondering why they feel dislocated.

Does the Gospel not work? Not like we think it should.

Does it work? Yes. God seems to be in no hurry. His project is bigger than you or me. But it involves you and me. It involves the real healing of our dislocations. It includes the restoration of our only home. And ultimately it involves us finding our support in Him, our joy in Him, our very lives in Him. Only then will our lives be reset. But as we all hate hearing - it's a process.

I had a doctor who sort-of set my arm after it broke. I don't like hearing people say "sort-of" in hospitals. I had broken my humorus (ha-ha go ahead and laugh), and he informed me that he hadn't done a very good job. He failed to explain why. My guess is that he was just feeling a little bored. Perhaps he had set a dozen perfectly that day and was feeling undervalued. Poor guy. He explained that my arm would probably be a little shorter than usual. "Thanks," I thought.

God isn't tired or bored with you or me. He's thorough, and our dislocation is very, very serious. He's tireless in his diagnosis, careful in his healing, and utterly trustworthy in his process.

That is why he is called the Great Physician. Which is Good News when you've had as many accidents as I have!

No comments: