Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Amy Carmichael: Have you no scar?

Have You No Scar?

by Amy Carmichael

Jesus speaks to us:

Have you no scar? No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear you sung as mighty in the land.
I hear them hail your bright ascendant star.
Have you no scar?
Have you no wound?

Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent, leaned me against the tree to die,
and rent -- by ravenous beasts that encompassed me
I swooned.
Have you no wound?
No wound? No scar?

Yes, as the master shall the servant be,
and pierced are the feet that follow Me,
but yours are whole.
Can he have followed far -- who has no wound? No scar?
Can she have followed far -- who has no wound? No scar?


[selah: silence]

[personal prayer]


Meditation on wounds


The Apostle James says that we are healed as we confess: Moral element to healing (5:16).

The Apostle John speaks of the one Christ told, ‘Take up your bed and walk!’ (John 5:1-9ff) Carry that which carried you: Emotional, vocational commitment to healing: Healing means that we accept God’s unknown over our comfortable [sick] known.

True healing: Willing to be weak where the world is strong; willing to be strong where the world is weak. Think about it…

God’s purposes for sickness: death (cf. 2 Kings 13:21), discipline (Heb. 12:5ff, Prov. 3:11f, et al), or the glory of God (John 9:3).

Not all who are physically ill are unhealed. Some are destined to receive healing through that illness…

Receiving healing: Accepting God's future over my past and present reality

My father, Rev. G. L. Mershimer contracted polio as a boy. He should have died, they said. But the disease left him without proper use of both legs, one arm and some other muscles. Dad often talked about his polio condition, and the part it played in bringing him to the ministry. He wondered if he’d have accepted God's calling on his life if polio hadn't entered. In his heart, he didn't believe he would have followed the call without the reverses of that illness, its deep struggle and pain. If that is true…then all of his subsequent life, his travelling across the country to attend school, his meeting mom...his marriage to her as he obeyed the call, his four children, his incredible, incarnational ministry -- all of this was due to a polio condition that God used to bring blessing through. If this is true, then my very existence is due to a wound. All of my actions that echo for good, every life I touch or prayer I pray, every word I say or write...this very blog...is a continuation of the healing that God brought through a wound: actions of a child that would not have been born without polio and the call. The Mershimer family is an entity called forth by God's healing power...still echoing in the world, through one polio condition.

What is your wound?

What healing does God want to bring to you and others through the condition you are currently in? What wholeness does God want to give as you hear the call in your scar? Open to His good purpose!

Open to His calling...

For it is good...there is trueness and wholeness. New life through the wound...

Alleluia!

Prayer: God, you can have all of me. I accept all of your purposes for me…even in my present condition, which is caught up in my past, I accept your future, your wholeness, and heed your call...in me, in this, in all. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

About 20 years ago I lived in Selma Alabama where I met a man named Albert Turner. Albert Turner has passed on; he was the man who guided the mule in Dr. King's funeral. He was active in Civil Rights in the Black Belt of Alabama before King came in 1965 and he continued to be active long after Dr. King had left.

I am African American and although I was not raised in Alabama, I was well aware of how difficult it had to have been to get people to put their lives, families, and livelihood on the line. I once asked Mr Turner how he managed to motivate people to take such enormous risks in the face of violence and the possibility of failure.

His response still strengthens me when I face difficult circumstances. Although as a young man he had problems with religion, which seemed to encourage people to wait until the hereafter for justice, he knew that Christ's commitment to the poor and lowly dictated action on the part of those who would be His followers. He also knew that the profound Christianity of African American southerners provided a means to move people to action.

He reminded people that in praying for the Kingdom to come on earth, we obligate ourselves to work towards bringing it to bear in the hear and now. But he had a wonderful addition to that which I quote here: "John the Baptist is entering the Kingdom with his head cradled in his arm. How can you go to the same kingdom as he when you have no scars?"

Your blog today really evoked that memory. There is no love without sacrifice and, yes, scars.

Loy Mershimer said...

Wow. The power of that quote really reaches me: "John the Baptist is entering the Kingdom with his head cradled on his arm. How can you go to the same kingdom as he when you have no scars?"

Powerful. Moving.

Thanks so much for sharing that story. You enriched and encouraged me!

God bless,

Loy

Loy Mershimer said...

Another note to Anonymous: Your story of Albert Turner is incredibly moving...but it also links with your own personal story, which must be moving as well.

Would you mind telling this story to a friend of mine? He'd love to hear from you, I'm sure. And perhaps to do an article on your link with Albert Turner, Selma, and Dr. King. His name is Dan, and he's at www.diversityinbusiness.com

If you get a chance [and are so inclined], please introduce yourself to him via email, ok?

Thanks so much, and share here anytime!

Loy

All American Mother said...

Thanks for the website. I was blessed with finding it today while googling "Amy Carmichael."

Yes, being a Christian should look like impending disaster.

I really liked what you had under the "abortion" label, including Dylan's song. I lost my first three children to abortion, and have been healed by the Word to the point where I can speak the truth.

THANK YOU.

Loy said...

Hi, All American Mother!

Thank you so much for your post, and I am blessed to think that these words were an encouragement to you. Keep the faith and keep your prayers, and all will be well!

Have a wonderful night, and God bless you so much!

Loy

Anonymous said...

I was told by a friend to look you up and have not been disappointed! I have lived a life of many scars. A family with acohol and drugs and abuse. An abusvie Mother that never told me she loved me. I have a sister who was her favorite and her only child, my Mother just died and completely left me out of her will. To say the least, I was crushed! But, God has a purpose and I have thanked Him for all that has happened in my life and have forgiven my sister who was and is very abusive to me verbally. But, I praise God that he loves me and I am walking in His spirit and He lives on the throne of my heart!

Loy Mershimer said...

Hello Anonymous -- thank you for your words... lots of pain, lots of scars in between the lines of those words. But, thankfully, God is well able to take the scars and make them part of a beautiful and wonderful mosaic: God is such a God that He can make something from nothing, and turn painful negatives into something more beautiful than we would have had otherwise.

God promises Israel that He will even restore the years that the locusts have eaten: what is eaten and gone cannot be restored in human strength or wisdom, but in the calculus of God He offers to restore wasted years. God will make good on His promises of good... and He has all eternity to do so!

Trust, rest and delight in His will. Let Him hold you in the palm of His hand, and grant you peace. And purpose. LIFE, and that more abundant and free... Alleluia! :-)