[from Church Newsletter 4/15/09]
I was eating lunch yesterday and saw a familiar face on the television screen – one of our area basketball coaches. As I watched the story unfold, I find out that he’s been arrested for breaking into the home of friends of his to steal prescription drugs. He wasn't stealing money, valuables, a car, or even illegal drugs... but prescription drugs. I am not outraged – but I am moved to mercy. It is just a reminder to me that we all have demons that haunt us, and some of them can get a very strong hold on us.
I tend not to be judgmental about addictions and struggles like this, for this simple reason: we all have our various ways of coping with problems, some of them healthy and some not so healthy. I know that I can be a workaholic, which is no better than being an alcoholic or any other –holic. I know how stressful life can be, and I know how all of these things can pile up and pile on us. These demons that haunt us are real. And while these demons might not have pointed ears and pitchforks, they are nonetheless relenting and dangerous. Allowing them to continue in our lives and have control over us is dangerous. More often than not, we need help to conquer them.
The Easter promise of Jesus Christ is so enabling to us in combating our brokenness, because it acknowledges that we are a people in need of healing and accepts us where we are in our struggles. It seems too good to be true that God accepts us and forgives us “no matter what.” The advantage of having a God who is omnipotent and all-knowing is that He already knows our struggles before we ask for help, yet is so willing to hear us, embrace us, and love us up as we cry out. That is not cheap grace – it is costly, powerful grace; it came at the cost of the Crucifixion. The Good News is that brokenness was triumphed by the Resurrection! That message needs to be spread to a broken world of broken people.
It is our call as Christians to embrace the broken. Those of us who have fought the demons are among the most qualified to help others along. The wounded are among the best healers – and no one knows that better than Jesus Christ the Crucified – and Resurrected!