Risen with Christ, Our Wounds yet Visible
Jesus’ humiliation has been eclipsed with glory. So is ours, as we testify of how His mercy has washed us and solidified the new creation.
Over lunch the other day, a friend recounted his healing story. To do so, he began with his shame, which was founded upon a history of early childhood sexual abuse. Staggering into young adulthood with same-sex attraction, he sought the help of two pastors who abused him sexually and spiritually.
He vowed to trust no-one. Yet he knew Jesus loved him and continued to love him. Still, he could not let Jesus in close as such intimacy always meant sexual violation to him. Jesus respected his limits.
One night in the throes of gay sex, he became aware of Jesus’ presence. In a still small voice, Jesus said: ‘I am waiting for you.’ This young man kindly excused himself and fell on his face before faithful Jesus. Soon after he joined a Living Waters group, then another, found a skilled therapist, and currently serves alongside his wife in raising a family and helping others overcome their shame.
This man represents the countless men and women who have been raised from the dead of sin. Aware of sin’s complexity yet more in touch with the Mercy that saved them from it, they now proclaim how Glory has eclipsed shame. Resurrection flares from these wounds made visible.
Such courage ignites a blazing torch that draws the broken to Mercy. I wept as I listened to his story and saw the light of gratitude and hope in his eyes. I glimpsed Jesus; this man offered me his wounds, I put my hand in his nail-scarred hands and feet. Like doubting Thomas, I believed in Jesus afresh.
‘Gay marriage’ would be a none-issue if all the faithful made known their scars related to homosexuality. Risen with Christ, our wounds yet visible, we magnify Mercy and turn false justice on its ear.
‘If no-one said: ‘I die but I shall live’, then there would be no hope for those who suffer. All suffering would be senseless, destructive pain; all grief would be the worldly sorrow that brings forth death. But we know people who have lived and suffered differently. There is a history of resurrections, which have significance for others. A person’s resurrection is no personal privilege for one’s self alone. It contains within itself hope for all, hope for everything.’ Dorothy Soelle