February 2016 Reflection
Matthew 20: 29-34
A couple of years ago I was out on the recruiting circuit. These trips tend to be fairly straightforward affairs: I confirm my attendance at each fair. Book my flights. Reserve a rental car. There is much more minutiae that goes along with these trips, but I won’t bother you with that.
Marquette University is part of the normal recruiting circuit. I was looking on Facebook a couple of days before my trip to Marquette and noticed one of my former community mates was visiting her family in Milwaukee at about the same time I was there. I reached out to her on the off chance she would be able to get together while we were both in town. It ended up she was indeed in town. One of her family members was in the hospital. She invited me to have lunch with her in a hospital cafeteria. Our visit over lunch was wonderful. We spent an hour talking about the ten years we had been away from each other. Over the decade both of us have found partners, gotten married, changed jobs, had children and grown in our lives.
This doesn’t sound too unusual for two friends to meet up for coffee or a meal, but when we lived together we had what I would generously call a strained relationship. We had a point where an outside advisor had to come in and help us work through our challenges. These challenges included several heated arguments. It wasn’t easy for me and I’m sure not for her either. Through living in community with her I learned a lot about myself, and how to (and how not to) relate to other people. I grew a lot as a person and as a Christian because of the challenging relationship we shared.
Our visit with each other in a crowded hospital cafeteria in Milwaukee was an exercise in reconciliation. We didn’t get into our old grievances, which in this case wasn’t necessary. I was able to see her in a new and different light, one that I only allowed glimpses of when we lived together. I left that hospital cafeteria with a strong sense that I had been healed. The old wounds had been bound up years ago, but the bandages were taken off. Only the memories of the hurt and the pain were still there. I am able to look at those wounds differently now all because we were both open to who we had become.
- Name some relationships in your life in need of healing.
- What are ways you can bring about healing to these relationships?
- Where do you see brokenness around you?
- How can you bring wholeness to these situations?
- How can Jesus help you in healing?