Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lessons from a kina. . .sore foot part 2

As you may remember, last weekend I had the privilege of enjoying a leisurely afternoon with a new friend out at the Tutukaka coast.  While there, I managed to step on a kina ( NZ sea urchin) and get a bunch of sharp spikes lodged in my foot.  Many of you have probably done the same thing at one point or another, but seeing as how I grew up in landlocked Kansas, I have never encountered sea urchins before.

Well, I was able to get most of the spikes out, but it soon became evident that a small piece broke off and worked its way a bit deeper into the center of the sole of my foot.  Ugh! I wasn’t able to get it out on my own and as the hours passed, my foot grew swollen and inflamed;  every step was very painful.  If you’ve ever had a thorn in your foot you know how much impact one tiny foreign object can have on the rest of your body.

Consider this:  with the kina spike still in my foot, it was too painful to walk, so I had to limp.  After a while limping, my other leg was getting weary and began hurting.  Then because my hip was also bearing extra weight, my spine was out of whack, making my back hurt.  And when my back hurts I get tired . . . and when I’m tired I get grumpy more easily. . . and so on and so forth.  See how one thing leads to another, all because of something that seemed so small and insignificant at the beginning?

Thankfully Donna came over the next day to a little "surgery" on my foot and was able to dig it out with a needle and some elbow grease.  (All the while I am wincing, gripping anything I can get my hands on, and trying not to cry.  J  Once the thorn was out, relief came and healing could begin.  While that silly thing was still making it home inside my body, I could not go on. It could have become infected and led to yet another more serious issue.  Whew! Its remarkable how something so small can have such a big and lasting impact!

 This thorn is like a sin, a dark spot in our life that festers and keeps us from ultimate healing and relief.  It may be small and hidden to others, but like everything else in life, it affects more than just us, and the longer it is left unattended, the distress grows.  Healing and wholeness, mending and repairing cannot come until the sin is confessed, removed, and dealt with.  Sin affects our relationship with God, with others, with family, with . . . everything. Sins, even “small” ones, affect everything. 

God knows this. And he has an equally "small" remedy to match it. . .and its wrapped up in the baby Jesus Christ, whom we celebrate during this blessed season of Advent.  God, in Christ, is “small” enough to go in where others cannot.  We couldn’t understand a God so big, we couldn’t go to a God so big. .. so God came to us, and continues to come to us in our current context, in our messy situations, in a way that is tangible.

God, who is so big we cannot measure him, so strong we cannot beat him, so wise we cannot trick him. .. became a tiny baby, helpless and vulnerable, born into a specific time and space in history.  He became small enough to fit into the tiny hidden places of our heart to remove those seemingly small ‘thorns’ in our life so that healing can begin.

Is it time for a little surgery?

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