A Place of Pain
A good friend of mine for over 20 years, though she doesn’t have a clue, is Joyce Meyer. Next to my pastor she’s probably sown more into my spiritual growth than anyone else. Yesterday she said that when you go through things in life it may be painful, but the only way out is through. And through always means pain. She has also said in the past that the same door you went through to get into a situation is the same door you’ll have to go through to leave it.
I’m well familiar with pain. In my few short years on this planet I’ve definitely had my share of heartache. One of my heroes, my worship pastor, Scott Schazline, says that you can’t teach what you haven’t survived. How right I have found that he is. For one so young he has a whole lot of wisdom. My guy Gary always says it’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it. We all make choices, and we can say all we want that our choices are ours alone to make and that they don’t affect anyone else but it’s not true. Actions always have consequences, and some can be devastating.
Case in point: one of my favourite introductions to any book other than the Bible that I’ve ever read. The book is called The Oath, by Frank Perretti. In the 10th Anniversary edition he chose to share why he wrote the book in the first place. It changed my life. I’ve quoted it on my blog before but it speaks to me every single time I read it. Here it is, for those who never have, and please don’t sue me – I’m just trying to share something that could be life-changing for you to:
“Sin is the monster we love to deny.
It can stalk us, bite a slice out of our lives, return again and bite again, and even as we bleed and hobble, we prefer to believe nothing has happened. That makes sin the perfect monster, a man-eater that blinds and numbs its victims, convincing them that nothing is wrong and there is no need to flee, and then consumes them at its leisure.
We’ve all been assailed by the beast, sometimes face-to-face, but all too often from a direction we aren’t prepared to defend, and it’s only in recognizing the beast for what it is that we can hope to escape at all. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven and empowered to overcome sin, but opening the door and tossing the beast kitchen scraps of our character is no way to drive it off. Toying with an animal that is actually toying with us is a sure way to lose part of ourselves.
I was watching it happen to some friends of mine the year I began writing The Oath. As the rest of us just kept on praising the Lord, loving one another, smiling, and trying not to be judgmental, some really good people walked stupidly, blindly into the jaws of sin. The tooth marks still show today, in ruined marriages and soiled ministries. The rest of us should have said something.
In The Oath, I tried to say something through a vicious drama. I gave sin a form, an identifiable embodiment hellbent to consume the hero. I chose an obscure, remote setting because sin shies from examination just as vermin flee from the light, and in this place, there are no rules. Denial is easy, and sin is protected. The consequences, of course, play out just as they do in so many real lives: we’ve all seen friends, relatives, and fellow believers dragged out the door by a pet that got too big to control. Some have managed to come back, bleeding and bruised, hopefully healing and wiser. Some have never come back at all. And some of us have been there.
The Oath is a story we’ve all had a part in, to one degree or another. And years later, it still cries out the same warning God gave Cain: Sin is crouching at the door, and it wants you, but you must overcome it.”
My question to you today, dear reader, is simply this; what can you do to help heal a broken wounded world on its way to the wrong destination?
Kari, the healed and healing
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