Even before “COVID-19” and “global pandemic” became part of our everyday conversation, my family’s 2020 was disrupted. In January, my 12-year-old son broke both bones in his right arm while playing goalkeeper during a soccer scrimmage. The breaks required surgery during which titanium rods were inserted into his arm to stabilize the bones. The healing process would take several months, including regular physical therapy to help him regain strength.
Sometimes bones are so broken, they require surgery and intervention from a skilled physician to help them strengthen and heal. When I read Isaiah’s promise that the Lord “will make your bones strong,” I wonder where my own bones are so broken that they need the intervention of a skilled healer. I also wonder what regular work needs to be done in order for those broken places to heal and gain strength over time.
One of those places for which I have recently needed the help of a skilled healer is related to my personal understanding and engagement with racial justice. Many of the events of this past year have helped me become more aware of my own shortcomings and how I contribute to the systemic racism present in our communities. Friends and colleagues have graciously journeyed with me, challenging me on my blind spots and inviting me to begin with a change in myself while also examining the systems in which we take part. I have engaged with the IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory) process, and have appreciated the help of an IDI facilitator who offered regular tools and exercises designed to help strengthen my intercultural competence over time.
There are other times in my life when I have needed help. Sometimes that help has been from professionals trained in practices of healing. Other times that help has come from my spouse, my children, or trusted friends who have journeyed with me. In most cases, the healing process has taken time and has been most successful when accompanied by regular and intentional practices that lead to strength.
I wonder if there are places in your life, right now, that are broken and in need of healing? Who are those skilled healers in your life whom you trust to journey with you? How are you allowing God to heal you and lead you into practices which will help to “make your bones strong”?
Almighty God, Give me awareness today of the places that are broken and in need of healing in my life. Also, help me to see and have the courage to listen to the skilled healers around me who might help me, and strengthen me. Give me the courage to trust you to make my bones strong, so that I might be a faithful instrument of your kingdom work in this world. Amen
Rev. Tim Catlett is the Executive Director of New Faith Communities