Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Healing Vessels

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”

Billie Mobayed

My mother once shared a memory she had of me when I was a little girl. Apparently, I overheard her say, “I’m broke.” I, according my child’s understanding, decided I would come and fix that problem. I brought her a tape dispenser.

“Let’s tape Mommy’s broken pieces back together again.”

It’s been years later and I now appreciate, from a recovery standpoint, just how poignant the remark is.

“For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”

Psalm 109:22

We are broken. No one gets out of this life experience without racking up some kinds of cracks to our psyches. We can often reach the point of asking...

 “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed?...”

Jeremiah 15:18

We are at a crossroads. We are confronted to take a stance on the vessel question. Are we going to be vessels of destruction or of healing? This question is the final, twelfth step...

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

First, we have to see OUR brokenness.

In “Twelve Steps speak,” Step one fully assets we are powerless against our addiction. And that could be an even more powerful if paired with 1 Corinthians 15:43:

“It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.”

It confronts our individual “bottom” experience. Seemingly, it looks hopeless. However, with Divine help, it is possible to rise from any form of shameful, hopeless ashes. It must go beyond us, however.

We cannot fix that brokenness ourselves.

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3

Steps two and three surrender to that Truth.

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

“For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds...’.”

Jeremiah 30:17

How can we get any healthier if we constantly fight our Help?

“Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, ‘What makest thou? Or thy work, He hath no hands?’”

Isaiah 45:9

Next, we have to commit to our imperfect recovery.

We must embrace our flawed nature. That is not the cop out is sounds like it is. We are human, vulnerable. Realistically facing that fact prepares us for the road set before us, where we encounter the work of steps four through eleven.

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Stating that is much simpler than executing it. It is never a “one and done” experience. It is the lifelong, daily, imperfect commitment.

And, it needs to be there long before we attempt to help others.

“‘...Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?’”

Luke 6:39

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Healing starts with us.

But, with that being said, we need to not confuse that with perfection. There is no such thing concerning our human healing.

As we confront our mistakes, relapses, poor choices and harmful behaviors, the humility comes.

Steps four through eleven are chock full of this return to our flawed natures, again and again. It’s not to grind us into the dirt. It’s to recognize we are not self-actualized- in anything, recovery included.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Next, we need to assume the responsibility we have in our individual stewardship.

Only after this recognition takes place are we even in the ballpark to implement the final twelfth step of “otherness.”

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Our imperfect healing is tied to connectedness with others, rather than our own personal selfishness. None of us are created to exist in a vacuum, especially a self-destructive vacuum.

Divine revelation is at our disposal if we are open TO it. I can only speak for myself here, but part of what I believe is an obstacle to our healing process is the focus we place on it being completely private, isolated, freed from embarrassment or connecting intimacy. I know for many years, I just wanted to completely “get myself together enough” so that I could let others in on who I was.

But the imperfect mess is part of the entire healing point.

No one can relate to a problem-free person. He or she doesn’t EXIST!

So, from that perspective, we can see how, perhaps, this connected sharing of our broken vessels, is a sacred, life-altering form of purpose.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to Elohim and not to us.”

2 Corinthians 4:7

One can, I suppose, assert that the reason behind the healing of our broken vessels comes down to the temple argument.

 “Don't you know that you yourselves are Elohim’s temple and that His Spirit lives in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:16

Nowhere within that scripture is the mention of our pristine temple existence. Cracks, breaks, tears and chips abound.

“...when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”

That is you; that is me. That is the beauty of the healing work we vessels are created for.

Copyright © 2018 by Sheryle Cruse

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