By Jessica Brodie
A couple of weeks ago, I got a very small cut on my ankle. I thought if I ignored it, put a little medicine on it and did the important things, it would just go away.
But it didn’t go away. Instead it got worse. It ended up getting infected. Only after it was pierced and fully dealt with did it finally begin to heal.
Listening to the impassioned resolution speeches Wednesday morning at Annual Conference drove this point home, particularly as the words of Jane Robelot De Carvalho sunk in along with some others, like Rosetta Ross and Larry McCutcheon, like Keith Ray and Brandon Lazarus and Richard Reams.
I think Robelot De Carvalho summed it up best when she said, “If there’s a sore or boil under your skin, before it can heal sometimes it must be opened and examined in an open setting, a safe setting. As Christians we need to create a safe environment in our churches to (discuss these issues).”
She’s right. My dear readers, ignoring a problem will never ever make it go away. Usually, it will make it worse. Good things happen when we shine God’s beautiful, holy and all-searching light into the darkness. Accountability happens. Grace happens. First steps toward healing happen. Forgiveness happens.
And whether that has to do with healing from lynching or an apology for racism or reaching out in love and support to gay youth or new immigrants to this nation (no matter their legal status), it all comes down to shining God’s love-light on the problem and then letting His healing, miraculous power air it out and make things right.
Good things happen when we get real. Good things happen when we talk about problems. Relationships are formed and deepened. Things become not about the generic faceless “issue” but the actual person, sins and scars and quirks and all.
And when getting real is done in The United Methodist Church, a church with a mission above all to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, a church with a passion to be God’s hands and feet as we serve others in His name, we’re one step ahead. “United” is in our name. We stand together in Christ’s love. We stand together despite our differences to serve and spread the Good News.
I pray we all try to remember that as we navigate more difficult issues in the future—ordination of homosexual clergy among these. And I commend our church for working together even when it’s hard.
Shining the light into a wound is risky. But we must deal with our wounds in order to heal.