Thursday, September 01, 2005
The House of Healing
Pippin's face was anxious. "Well, you had better come with me as quick as you can," he said. "I wish I could carry you. You aren't fit to walk any further. They shouldn't have let you walk at all; but you must forgive them. So many dreadful things have happened in the City, Merry, that one poor hobbit coming in from the battle is easily overlooked."

"It's not always a misfortune being overlooked," said Merry. "I was overlooked just now by -- no, no, I can't speak of it. Help me, Pippin! It's all going dark again, and my arm is so cold."

"Lean on me, Merry lad!" said Pippin. "Come now! Foot by foot. It's not far."

"Are you going to bury me?" said Merry.

"No, indeed!" said Pippin, trying to sound cheerful, though his heart was wrung with fear and pity. "No, we are going to the Houses of Healing."

--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


This morning I prayed while I was brushing my teeth. This is odd because I don't think I've ever done that before. The mood struck after my morning liturgy. And I was praying about my house. With another guy I oversee a house for around fifty seminary students. Fifty seminary guys under one roof - intentional Christian community in all of its glorious messiness. Some would call it a "dorm." I call it a "house." The guys started moving in last week.

"Father, for those who enter these doors with burdens, may they find a house of rest. Father, for those who enter these doors with wounds, may they find a house of healing."

And the image of the house of healing was lodged in my brain.

I remember arriving here a year ago this week. I was a mess emotionally and spiritually, parts of my soul shattered in bits. I'm still a mess, though much less so these days. Over the last year I have experienced such healing at the hands of the men in this house. Slowly I am being transformed into a picture of Jesus. My prayer is that we together as a house may be intentional about being transformed together. My prayer is that my hands may be the hands of a healer.

I think maybe there are a host of us who enter the theological academy limping and wounded like Merry. Sometimes its easy to assume this place is a Top Gun academy, the best of the best of up-and-coming spiritual giants. But I'm trying now to train my ears and eyes for the broken in my midst, watching for those who hide their wounds from the Black Shadow. How do I be like Pippin to the Merry next to me who doesn't know how to cry for help?

Yesterday, I interviewed for the position of web programmer here on campus and today was offered the position. It will entail maintenance of the seminary's website as well as some archival projects similar to the work I did with Ad Fontes. The pay is half of my previous job, but I trust God to be faithful to me now.

Monday I met with the discipleship team of The Rock / La Roca UMC. I pitched the idea of me teaching a Bible study. You see, interpretation belongs to the people of God. Stuff I read two months ago is still fresh in my mind. We'll look at the Gospel of Mark. The people of God reading the text together, wrestling with the text, being transformed together. No other curriculum or outside sources. What does the text say? How does it threaten my crusty, selfish, comfortable soul? What do the contents of this ancient book have to say about the way I live my life? We may very well wind up creating our very own community commentary of Mark. We'll see what happens. The group loved it. Didn't even want to hear my other two ideas I was weighing. We start September 21 at 7:30.

I've been in a long season of knocking on doors that turn out to be blank walls. It's been a good week.

My new neighbor who moved in over the weekend turns out to be a very big Yankee fan. Tonight we watched together the Felix Hernandez - Randy Johnson duel. I'll be doing some serious prayer for that boy.


At the doors of the Houses many were already gathered to see Aragorn, and they followed after him; and when at last he had supped, men came and prayed that he would heal their kinsmen or their friends who lives were in peril through hurt or wound, or who lay under the Black Shadow. And Aragorn arose and went out, and he sent for the sons of Elrond, and together they laboured far into the night....

The hands of the king are the hands of a healer.

The hands of Jesus are the hands of a healer.

The hands of the Christian are the hands of a healer.

posted by Peter at 12:55 AM
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