Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Seedstone - healing" from L.L. Barkat

From L.L. Barkat, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places

Living in a fallen world and part of the fall ourselves, we all are in need of healing. In fact salvation itself in Scripture is likened to or called healing. This is to begin in Jesus for us now, but someday will be completed in the resurrection and consummation of all things in the new creation in Jesus. Then our healing will be complete.

Until then however, L.L.'s chapter helps us understand that God takes even the hard, broken things of our lives and in Jesus remakes them and gives them new life. Again L.L.'s frankness about her own brokenness is encouraging for all the rest of us broken Eikons (transliterated from the Greek New Testament word eikon, translated "image," with reference to humankind created in the image of God, and in Jesus being created anew in God's image, as the brokenness is being restored).

For myself, along with L.L., I'm realizing that the healing I need is not just in regard to the effects of sin in my past or of living in a broken down, fallen world. But also because I sin in the present (remember sins of omission as well as commission), even while righteous in Christ and practicing righteousness. I therefore need healing now. This gives hope as we know it's all by grace, that we are ever undeserving, that our only hope is in the Lord.

This chapter was good for me because I tend to look at healing as only for those who somehow have something together. But healing is for those who in themselves have nothing together. And like the man born blind, we must go by faith in our brokeness in obedience to God's word to us in Jesus, and walk by faith, not by sight, and through that begin to receive our healing in this life.

Again, this chapter was written in a way in which only L.L. can and does write! And if you want a book which just gives you 2+2=4 and puts everything down in a neat little bundle or formula for you to carry out, this book is not for you. But if you want a book which like the best books, and supremely like the Book, makes you realize anew your dependence on God and his great and full salvation in Jesus, then this is a most excellent book to help venture forth in that direction.

And again, don't forget to look at and think through the "discussion questions" in the back, preferably with others- after all that's what "discussion" means. :)

Any thoughts on this here?

1. Stepping Stones - conversion
2. Christmas Coal - shame
3. Tossed Treasures - messiness
4. Heron Road - suffering
5. Sword in the Stone - resistance
6. Howe's Cave - baptism
7. Palisade Cliffs - doubt
8. Holding Pfaltzgraff - inclusion
9. Indiana Jones - fear
10. Old Stone Church - love
11. Goldworthy's Wall - sacrifice
12. Clefts of the Rock - responsibility
13. Olive Press - gratitude
14. Forest Star - humility

Next week: "Sugar Face - forgiveness"


Mike said...

Good thoughts Ted.

While reading your post, I was also reminded of the two men wanting their sight. If you'll remember, Jesus asked them, "What do you want me to do for you?" Of course they wanted their sight restored - not next week, in a few years, or at retirement - now.

"And immediately they regained their sight..." Mt. 20:34

I look forward to Christ restoring all things. But I'm with you. I need healing now as well. Whew...good stuff!

Rachel Mc said...

Healing - such a tough word for me. I really identified with this chapter and found myself thinking that I will never be completely "healed" but need to realize Christ takes my brokeness and creates something new. I need to focus on the something new, not necessarily better, but new. That is the only way I can grasp and handle the painful issues in my life.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.'s book is challenging, because she's out to make you think through things, and hard things at that! Part of the reason for it's title, for sure.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Good to see there is hope in everything, in Jesus, no matter what it is. There is the beginning of healing in this life, for substantial healing in areas in which we'd never dream such healing is possible, I believe. But that doesn't mean it's easy, or that the pain or scars will ever completely be gone in this life. But like you say, God wants to create something new in all of this.

Amen. And I identified with this chapter as well, though I'm not sure I really did at first as I was going over it yesterday. Took some time and rereading for me to finally start getting it. And not because L.L. was unclear in her writing; actually quite clear. Maybe just my hard heart, and maybe just a bit of my tiredness, as well.

L.L. Barkat said...

Ted.... thanks for this post (for all your SC posts!). This was one of my favorite chapters. And it was one of the hardest to write. Being honest is not much fun when it reveals our foibles. Anyways, sorry to connect with you so late over this... I was in Tennessee this week. (Yup, after being in Texas the prior week. So much travel at once. :)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. I was tired, but that's not unusual, but it was challenging for me as well, because I think this chapter hit home close to me, as well! And it was quite encouraging to me, as I see the need for healing in ways generally like you express in the chapter with just different specifics.

It really did make an impact on me, or I should say God did through that chapter. Really good to get into it and really dig, which posting makes me do much more of than just normal reading I do of a book.

Anonymous said...

the first time through, i read the book refered to, "the tin man". it is a good story and well illustrated. very enjoyable.

in this chapter, i really like the line "God is like that old man. Under his hand a forest can emerge from the garbage of failure and want."

this chapeter makes me even more excited about my new found facination and play with dirt. this morning i went into the garden, among the tall sunflowers, and laid down in the dirt between the rows...hidden from view. i rested there, looking up into the blue sky, leaves, bees buzzing by, white fluff floating. it was refreshing. it makes me think of dirt, how wonderful it felt, remembering as a child how close to it i was. and now i sit here and think of the spit and dirt mixed toghther in the hands of Jesus, and the earth in the hands of God when He formed adam, and even when God made the earth. i am getting a refreshed view upon dirt.

i came into the house, and my husband saw the back of me and asked me where i had was very interesting. a little later my daughter asked what was wrong with my arm...i looked at had some dirt on it, again very interesting. i had told them both that i had been lying in the garden. they both looked at me funny. it is good to lie in dirt among the sunflowers and talk with God. my cat liked it too.