Our adopted, teenage son, Tyler, had only been home three months when I got a text from an unknown number. “Tyler forgot his soccer shoes and can’t play in the game unless you bring them to school.”
“Ok, I will look for them and be right there,” I responded to the stranger.
I found them by the back door and quickly stuffed them in a bag. Arriving at school moments later, I found Tyler with his team in a study hall. “Forget something?” I smiled as I handed over the shoes.
“It worked!” He said, astonished. “My friend, Cooper, said if we texted you, you’d bring them. I didn’t believe it. So… Moms bring shoes to school?” He asked incredulously.
“Yes, Moms bring shoes, lunches, homework, all kinds of things,” I said, momentarily saddened by his history.
It was a simple moment, one he’s probably forgotten now a couple years later. I haven’t, and as I sit in this holy week, I meditate on a truth: God wants to heal what we want to fix.
I was wringing my hands quite a bit in those first months. I wanted a program or a plan to take Tyler from where he was, to where we believed he could be. But God doesn’t want to fix Tyler, He wants to heal him. Moment by moment, He puts on display biblical principles through the people in Tyler’s life:
God can be trusted.
Tyler is loved.
We need each other.
These were three brand new ideas for him and God has given us countless opportunities to partner with him in Tyler’s healing as we demonstrate them.
This is a week above all others if we love Jesus. We celebrate there is no story too broken and no relationship too strained, God can’t heal. I can get overwhelmed with the hard of life. We sin, and then our sin entangles each other. That entanglement leaves bruises, and the enemy’s favorite strategy is to step on those bruises and either create shame over what we’ve done, or further temptation. You add my sin to my husband’s, or my sin to my friend’s and the tally starts to rise. There’s collateral damage when we lie, lust, deceive, gossip, are selfish, ambitious, inconsiderate, or mean. Left alone, we can make a mess out of life, hurting ourselves and others around us, and then trying to fix what is broken.
Everything changed on Good Friday. Jesus took on sin, all brokenness and shame, so that we’d never be without hope again. Paul would later write in Colossians 3, “You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with His label on it.”
Because Jesus rose, I never have to put on shame again. It disrupts and disconnects and on that Sunday morning when He soundly defeated this enemy, He announced “Enough!” The healer has come and He comes every time we call. He responds to me when I am lost, or forget who I am. When I do the same for Tyler, I help him imagine a world where God is good. I know this, because He’s been good to me. We can be about the business of taking care of just ourselves, or we can look for moments when shame wants to win and instead we give to others the goodness we’ve been given. This fosters healing.
Today, He’s invited us to join him. To surprise people with mercy, joy, patience, love, self-control, wisdom, discernment… good gifts we have complete access to, because Jesus died and conquered death. Whether you share them this morning with those you love, or you share them with someone who isn’t expecting it, or you share them with vulnerable children across the world, know you can do so, because of the resurrection. He took on death, so we could truly and fully live. We don’t have to run around and try to use human experience, effort, or resources to fix the messes we find ourselves in. I am thankful today for a Healer who has come to make right, and show off His power. May we put on display the result of the resurrection in our lives, the Spirit-filled victory He has come to bring us.