I was gifted a marvelous book for my birthday: The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning by Catherine Meeks. It is a book of meditations in thinking about racial healing. What a way to begin the new year in my life!
“I think about the challenge Jesus offered to the lame brother at the Pool of Bethesda, who complained about not being able to get into the pool when the angel came to bring healing. Jesus’ question to him is the most profound that anybody can be asked: ‘Do you want to be healed?’ In order to move forward, we must resolve the inner conflict of wanting to be healed but hoping to the remain the same.” (p. 5)
That alone is gold that I would need to sit with for a week. And it’s page 5.
Do we, as people of God dealing with this national sin, truly want healing? The comfort I have as a white man is that I can “try” to “solve” something and then stay in my own comfort zone. I am afforded that. To be healed, though, requires change. It is discomfort that will have to happen at some point.
It is far too easy to remain the same. The lame man at the pool had a level of “comfort” that his desire for healing had not yet overcome. Every one of us can live with a lot of pain and suffering because we think the price of change is too steep.
Battling racism and rooting it out of systems is deep work. Hard work. I don’ t “need” hard work. I have to choose hard work. There is a change required in me.
The truth is I wanted to “be healed” as long as I could remain the same. This was my struggle. I have come to realize over the last few years I don’t want to be the same. I have found that through the discomfort of confrontation in my own life and then in the world around me I have found beautiful healing. I have found intense joy. The change has brought new life and amazing discoveries. It keeps me in humility.
Do WE want to be healed?