What Lies Beneath?
Editor’s Note: Annette wrote this year-end piece about wounded systems and symptoms. I loved it and thought it worth repeating. What is going on when a family, a faith community, or a person begins to exhibit weird signs? Chances are likely that unseen parts have colluded together to create disturbing symptoms. Annette’s eye problem, shocking allegations against Mike Bickle and IHOP-KC, and Pope Francis’ confusing take on ‘blessing’ immoral unions are best understood as the result of dirty ‘players’: variables beneath the surface that contributed to the mess at hand. -Andrew
‘For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open’ (Luke 8:17).
Andy heralds living a chaste life. It’s taken me a while to get on the ‘chastity’ bandwagon. Like most Christians, I equate chastity with vestal medieval virgins! But this year has taught me a lot about real chastity. That means living an ordered life, taking care of what’s unseen.
Last December, I was recovering from a serious eye problem that threatened my sight. Rest, medicine, and good care from doctors brought health back to my eye by late winter.
To stay healthy, I had to follow instructions from my doctor. That was easy when my eye was “raging” (apparently, I have angry eyes!) but harder when my eye was quiet. You see, the origin of my eye problem is hidden. I have an unseen arthritis that undermines my immune system. When that’s not tended, my eye can ulcerate.
I am not good at caring for myself. If I feel ok, then why bother with the regime of care prescribed by my doctor? By spring both my eyes had become infected. I had a “come to Jesus” meeting with my ophthalmologist. The threat to my sight became clear. If I want to see, I must tend to the unseen.
I’m not the only one who has difficulty tending to the unseen. From the start of Desert Stream, we have been involved with leaders who have not tended to the unseen things in their lives. An unwillingness to receive help for hidden desires has empowered them to sin against others grievously.
We all know gifted leaders who lost everything because they didn’t care for their ‘hidden things.’ Everyone suffers. Unchaste lives are costly.
In body or soul, tending to unseen areas frees us to live in wholeness, in order, in chastity. My sight depends on the health of my inner life.
One of my “boasts” about DSM is that we administer freedom for those who are not only wounded by other’s sin but also for those who can wound others in their brokenness. Living Waters is a safe space for the disclosure and accountability necessary for all of us to become good gifts to the church.
Shepherds need community as much as sheep! Maybe more so. We need to envision all people, especially those seeking to help others know Jesus, how to understand and steward the gift of their sexual humanity. Wounds that infect desire need to be recognized and healed, not weaponized.
Our common need for chastity unites us all. Jesus helps us when we humble ourselves before one another.
Only a few spots remain for our January Living Waters training hosted by the Theology of the Body Institute. Learn more and register here.