Community: Wounds of Fellowship (Part 2)

Second of five parts begun on 6/23/05The Wounds of Faithfulness

For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not that you should be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have for you.

~Paul, the Apostle

These are the true words spoken in love, the reproof that weeps over the one reproved; the admonition that trembles for the one admonished. Wounds of faithfulness gamble that the covenant of friendship is enough to soothe the faithful wounds and to heal.“He does not respect you,” said my faithful brother. He was speaking of my young son. The words cut deep and I bled softly for three days. They echoed in my silent drive to the river and stung for the hour or so that I sat watching the boats. They spoke into my waking moments of reflection when the mind wanders from its immediate task.“Who does he think he is, anyway?” Anger is one way of bleeding. “He’s right. Even others notice.” Despair bleeds. “God help me. Help my son. Forgive my brother.” Dependency heals…and leaves a scar.Proverbs reminds us: “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend…”It is the way the Body is. It is wounded, yet lives.The Wounds of Expectation

“He began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give you.”

~~The Acts of the Church

We think we know what we need. Sometimes we even think we know from whom we can get it so we turn our attention to a brother or sister who, unfortunately, is not Simon Peter. We look expectantly upon another, hand outstretched, and demand alms.

Expectancy can be the anticipation of an awaited event—the Christmas of our hearts—or expectancy can presume upon the favor or ability of our brethren. My brother expects a thing from me, but I cannot (though he suspects I will not) perform. His expectations have become for me a prison. I must be what he wants me to be. He insists upon it. It does not occur to him that I may be better suited to his needs than to his expectations. He demands alms, while excluding wholeness.

We are both wounded and afflicted—he by disappointment in me, and I by a feeling of failure. At least in our injury we are brothers.

It was through a small boy that the multitudes were fed. He had little to give, but at the touch of the Eternal Provider it became what was needed. What he had was broken and shared. So it is with the body. Though what we have is broken, in our brokenness we can share and live.

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