What I’m Reading Today: Luke 17
One of the more interesting periods of my ministry occurred during the winter and spring of 2001/02. Let me backtrack for a moment in order to explain why that period was so significant.
In April of 2001, my candidacy for ordination was derailed by my local United Methodist church due to my sexual orientation. As a result, I went into a prolonged period of depression. In those first few days following their decision I carried with me a tremendous amount of pain which had been inflicted on me by the institutional church.
If you would have asked me at that time when I would be ready to serve a local church, I would have said, “It will be years before I’ll be ready to do that!” Yet just six months after I went through the experience of getting spit up and chewed out by my home church, I started serving a local church part-time as a consultant. And just two months later I was serving a local church full-time!
So how did that process happen so quickly?
I guess in many ways my experience was much like the ten lepers in today’s passage from Luke. In that healing story, Jesus chose an interesting way to effect healing in the lepers. Instead of touching them and causing their healing immediately, Jesus instead instructed them to head back to the priests. It was only on their journey that they were healed.
In both the case of the lepers and myself, healing was a process: one that didn’t begin until the individuals involved took the first step out on faith. God eventually took care of the rest.
Perhaps there is a pain that you have been carrying with you: one that has kept you paralyzed or immobilized. Maybe you’ve told yourself and God: “Sure, I’ll get on with my life – but only after I’ve completely healed from this pain first.” If that’s the case, use today’s story as encouragement to take a risk and step out in faith right now. You might find that the healing that has thus far eluded you might take place on your journey.
Til next time…