For some time now I have been looking for the juncture of interests in women in abuse recovery and disability theology. They seem to be the two themes or threads of ongoing life time interest in my life and until recently I have thought about them as separate streams . As a source of strength for working in this field I have found it necessary to find quiet times of contemplation and find my source in God, scripture particularly the psalms and trying to listen for some form of direction in my life. A number of years ago while entering that phase in ones life where the children are grown and you are asking God what now? I had taken some time to sit in the silence of a local church . Surrounded by the wonderful smells of fading incense and fresh beeswax candles, alone in the silence I sat reflecting on rather large crucifix . The little red light flickered in the corner indicating that Christ was present in the tabernacle and there was this sense of an accompanied silence in this empty sanctuary. Odd place for someone born and dunked in an evangelical church.
Through the deep waters of grief and loss in my life I had found the pat answers of a lifetime of familiar theology no longer held the answers for me. I was called deeper. Out of the dark water of struggle I found myself coming out desiring a richer liturgical worship style . There are times months, perhaps even years that one can sit in a church and hear nothing from God. You might get a little tingle a little buzz or you might just be there wondering what to serve for lunch after service. There are no guarantees in Contemplation. Sitting near the front row I had a close up view and noticed the nails in this image of Christ seemed to incredibly large. I was aware that he had been held there by choice. What pierces your life, came a strong internal question. What pierces your life.? There was a kind of knowing that in this piercing like the nails and wounds of Christ even in the physical and interior wounds of a life pierced there was transformational potential present. Christ rose with these wounds and nail prints still present. He could have chosen to rise whole and unmarked but he didn't. Christ rose from the dead in his transformed body still bearing the marks of the Cross.Put your hands in the wholes in my hands, and side said Christ to Thomas. He identified so strongly with both broken bodies and broken hearts that selected to appear still bearing the wounds. So here is the juncture of disability theology and broken hearts in the theology of the wounded and broken body of Christ. It is found in the Eucharist be it Catholic, Lutheran or Anglican and if you pay attention in the familiar words of communion in Protestant churches." This is my body that is broken for you". Really its what we do with that awareness that is the core theology hidden in the words. How do we translate the broken sacrifice of the body of Christ who was broken for us into a hungry for real bread that heals wounded souls?. How do we blend this transformational brokenness of the wounds of Christ with our own brokenness and wounds and share that transformational potential?. What pierces my life ? Somehow by finding our healing and meaning in the broken and pierced body of Christ as the source for all that is the essence of reality in our lives , we move into a transformational place that allows for healing not just for us but in sharing that brokenness that pierced place in our soul, we bring others to to the potential of the healing wounds of Christ. I find great strength in Sunday morning Eucharist but I live in a world that may be far from that reality. Maybe some days you are the only broken body of Christ the world sees. Will I risk is the question.? Will I risk in some way exposure of what pierces my life changing power of Christ. I don't understand the process I am just aware that there is a question ? What pierces your life?. Put your fingers in the my hands and side and understand that I resurrected imperfect in body into an imperfect and broken world. This is what Love looks like up close.
We are going to be looking a bit closer at what pierces the lives of many woman in a variety of areas of abuse and blend that with contemplative moments and a journey of shared learning into this world. We go here with the knowledge that we are accompanied on this journey by He who is pierced. He not only accompanies us. He has become one with us . Joined to us through the wound in His own body.