Today was unlike any other. I spent a big chunk of the day in Surrey Memorial… that hospital makes me sad.
I got to see and experience a different part of the brokeness of our world than I usually do.
The brokeness of this part of our world is quite apparent. The outsiders from this subculture, looking in, can usually very quickly identify what they feel are the evidences of brokeness. In fact, a lot of times, outsiders looking in will say that this subculture IS the problem with our culture. They ARE the fractures of creation.
but just as much as there is brokenness and pain and sorrow, hopelessness, helplessness, and despair in these places, there is truth, loyalty, compassion, honesty, grace, brotherhood, family, relationship, community, hope, and some of the very things that I believe are required to overcome the fractures of creation!
And I sat there and listened as the prostitute poured out story after story of a long and broken life. . . of child abuse, sex trafficking, forced prostitution, and ultimately, a struggle to find self-worth. I listened as the prostitute talked about looking in the mirror and not seeing a person, but rather a piece of meat. Of how, day after day, worthlessness overshadowed existence.
And on the other side of the emergency room walked a doctor. This doctor does amazing work, on the front lines, working with people from all kinds of broken situations… from broken bones, to broken homes. This doctor comes from a world where people would look in from the outside and say “this is good”.
And I thought about how, just days before, this same doctor had confided with almost the same words, the struggle of looking in the mirror and not seeing a person worth anything. This same doctor looked in the mirror and saw worthlessness, shame, depravity, scorn…
The doctor, and the prostitute… with more in common than they could possibly imagine. The same need to be loved. . . known. . . respected. . . and a different form of validation.
and here we were, this juxtaposition… Two people whom our culture tells us can have nothing in common… and one is just like the other.
and this juxtaposition is framed against a backdrop of an overcrowded emergency room, where there’s a guy and his arresting police officer waiting to get treated for his gunshot wound, next to an elderly woman with kidney failure beside a teenager with blood alcohol poisoning, across from a baby whose cough has worried her mother, beside a soccer player whose broken his foot, beside a woman with appendicitis, down the hall from a former cult member whose knee has come out of place, outside a small room in which a man is babbling incoherantly and screaming…
and each person comprising this background has a body with the same basic physiology. Regardless of where they come from or why they are there, they are in a place where they all have one thing in common. their human bodies have some form of physical brokenness that needs treatment.
**please note that the identity of the two main characters in this juxtaposition have been altered slightly to protect their identities
“Dear woman, here is your son” and “here is your mother”
one of the last seven phrases we have recorded that Christ said while on the cross.
He came to show us that she is just like me. that they are just like us… that we are just like them. That we are all family, and in need of eachother. We have been given to each other to minister to the needs of one another.
What would happen if, when we looked at the person with whom we “couldn’t have less in common” we started to see ourselves reflected? what If we saw the image of Christ in them-and in us?
What if we realized that our adoring Father knows her name too, and adores her too?
Would then, the new life… the new humanity… the new creation that Christ came to earth to bring us… the redemption of creation… would then we see it usher in the Kingdom of heaven?