by DanWolgemuth on August 23, 2017

It was a year ago that I completely ruptured my hamstring. I won’t go into the unpleasant details, but by mid-September I was in an operating room and all the way through this past February I was in physical therapy.

The gap in time before surgery created an issue that both complicated the procedure and now jeopardizes a complete recovery. In the weeks between my injury and surgery, my damaged hamstring created scar tissue that entangled my sciatic nerve. The skilled surgeon that reattached my torn tendons also was faced with the challenge of separating nerves from tendons.

Over the months, clear progress has been made to recover both mobility and strength. Yet, after a thorough evaluation by the doctor overseeing my recovery, I was officially labeled as impaired. I was deemed to have lost functionality that I would be unlikely to ever regain. Numbness remains in portions of my upper thigh… the lingering impact of damage done.

In the process of digesting the reality of this assessment, I have come to see it as a convicting parallel to other, less obvious conditions in my life.

I was created to live in a garden… in Eden. My lungs were filled with the breath of God. I was crafted in His image. Then sin. Then selfishness. Then fear and hatred and death. Impaired.

My impairment is caused by the entangled damage of sin in my life. My soul is less pliable, my heart less tender, my sensitivities numbed.

My ability to fully engage with others… particularly those not like me, is challenged. I view the world in light of my own impairment. I limp my way into the situations that surround me without sensitivity to the pain, reality, brokenness and history that marks the lives of those around me.

We were made for community… for lives connected. God created, and He did so… well, creatively. Diversity was God’s design. Unity was His prayer.

But sin… impaired.

And the consequences of this impairment? Diversity becomes an incendiary political topic instead of a beautiful masterpiece. Unity becomes a halfway house for similarly impaired patients. We rally around our numbness, not around a vision of wholeness.

We become either a victim or a judge. And so we limp. Impaired.

Sin ruptured, scars formed. Our love has a limp.

But grace. But Jesus.

Authentic Christ followers. Those who pray for, work for, and cast a vision for what Jesus Himself prayed for… unity.

I am impaired. But I am in physical therapy. Call it sanctification. Call it discipleship. But make sure you call it biblical.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10, ESV)

Diversity is God’s idea. My impairment doesn’t change His design. My politics don’t modify His prayer. Our scars interrupt the nerves that make us function as the Body of Christ that God intended. We stop feeling what others feel.

I confess my numbness to others. I pray for nerves to feel. For wisdom to guide. For courage to love. Like Jesus. In the name of Jesus.

Impaired… but in process.

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