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
â€œHe began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, â€˜I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give you.â€
~~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 eventâ€”the Christmas of our heartsâ€”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 afflictedâ€”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.