Today, we grieve.
We grieve injustice, racism and violence. We grieve for people killed at the hands of the very people we pay to protect them. We grieve sickness, death, loneliness, isolation, loss of income, food insecurity and those trapped in prisons where the virus rages.
In Col. 3, St. Paul invites us to set our minds on things above. He provides a long list of things that weigh us down, things that prevent us from being the people we long to be, including lust, greed, rage, slander and lying. He reminds us that we all are one in Christ. He says that there’s no distinction of gender, race or class in Christ.
We know. We agree. But often it feels like the harder we try, the faster we fail. The quarantine has a clarifying effect: it shows us the things we need to shed as individuals and as a nation.
We need healing. Desperately. So how do we receive the healing we need?
I can think of no better solution than the following mediation exercise in Leanne Payne’s classic book, THE HEALING PRESENCE. She writes:
“I never cease to be awed at the simplicity and the extent of the spiritual and psychological healings that takes pace when we ask a person to look and see, with the eyes of his heart, Jesus on the Cross. As he looks to the One who took into ‘his own body on the tree’ the sin, the darkness, the pain that is killing him, he is then enabled to yield up to the dying Christ the ‘death’ that is in his own members…. When we do so, God’s energy is indeed ‘let loose.’ People repent and are forgiven: people forgive others and are healed.”
Try it. I have, multiple times this week. But I warn you: get away by yourself, because you might cry ugly tears.
What I found is that I didn’t want to burden Him. I didn’t want to hurt Christ by giving him my bad stuff. I felt terrible for causing Him to suffer. I imagined handing him my anger, for instance, and visualized what it cost Him to take it from me.
But that is exactly the point. He did suffer for us. He died so we might live. By His stripes we are healed. He invites us to hand Him the burdens we were not made to carry.
So if you would like to–if you can spare a moment–close your eyes and give Christ your all. As you imagine Christ on the cross, dying for you, picture yourself giving to Him the sin, darkness and pain that is killing you.