BY RODNEY TILLEY, PASTOR, VAN HORN COMMUNITY CHURCH
This last week I was talking with a man that was helping a friend of mine to move. He was packing and giving out orders to each man as he focused on getting the furniture and other items into the box trailer.
As I listened to him, I understood that this man had something more to say and that he had the credentials to back it up. He had been in war in Somalia and received a purple heart, and he recently had an additional injury that had left him wheel chair bound for an extended period of time.
He was speaking of past experiences and as I listened he was speaking, as some would say, “the universal language of pain.â€ He spoke of where he had been and what had happened in his life both in war and in service, and I began to listen. He told me that he had overcome his hurt, but that it was only through the help of knowing Christ and his suffering that his emotional, spiritual, and physical pain was healed.
It reminded me of a story that I once heard about Bishop Fulton Sheen. (You probably have seen him before on television) He was in a leper colony in deepest Africa, and the sickness and the dirt, and the cankerous sores that inhabited each leperâ€™s body repulsed him. There was one man in particular that caught his eye: a man with not only leprosy, but with other skin diseases as well. He was covered with sores and it was terrible sight!
Bishop Sheen was drawn to this man, but as Bishop Sheen leaned over to speak to the man, the cross that the Bishop was wearing around his neck broke and it fell into this leperâ€™s open wound. Fulton Sheen was repulsed at the cankerous sore and he stepped back, only to be reminded of Christ and his suffering for all of mankind. He then approached the man, and reaching into the wound, he took up the cross.
He realized that if Christ is to be effective in healing oneâ€™s wounds, the cross must touch the sores, pain, and hurts of all people. Jesusâ€™ death on the cross spoke the “universal language of pain,â€ and as the Bible says in I Peter 2:24, “by his wounds (Jesusâ€™ wounds) you have been healed.â€ Jesus knows your feelings, he knows your pain, and he heals.
He knows from experience the depths of suffering and agony, and he knows the joys of renewal and salvation. Today, let Christ enter your heart and heal: it feels really, really good, and as my friend says, you can only overcome with the help of our savior and healer, Jesus Christ. Speak for Jesus is listening and he is listening to you.