Part of what makes healing out of our brokenness seem so difficult is that while we are suffering, it seems as if we will always remain in our pain, that there is little likelihood that there is hope for improvement, for healing. One of the things that community provides is the encouragement to believe that things need not always remain as they are, community provides hope in its absence, and can be a constant reminder that we are not alone in our pain.
Another antidote to suffering provided in community is a place to be, to belong, during the healing process. The pain of loneliness serves to compound the pain of brokenness, making it feel all the more insurmountable. Having a place to be, where no performance is required, where there is no falseness or expectation, allows us to move into our brokenness, to determine its cause, and to heal. The support found in community lightens the load put on the broken places, just as a crutch serves to lighten the load until we are healed enough to walk under our own power. A crutch, however, is only useful to a certain extent, and after the initial healing, if a crutch continues to be relied upon too heavily, the limb, rather than becoming stronger, will atrophy and weaken. In community this need not be the case, for even before we are fully healed, we can put our brokenness and healing to use, in service to others, in love and support, as others also heal. We can use our broken places and the healing we are experiencing to heal others, thus creating strength, and healing, previously unknown to us. This mutuality ensures that no one person becomes weak from too much support, and that all are able to use theirs gifts for the good of others. This is one movement of redemption in the world; as we heal, we use our woundedness to recognize and heal the woundedness of others.
— Chris Linscott
How do we fight unforgiveness as a community? The first step is being open with one another. As long as our lives are kept in the “light” (1John1:6-8) It will be harder for us to hide unforgiveness in our hearts. Being “clear” is a beautiful thing I feel we have here at Good Works. Another very important thing is to not let time pass between when you have been hurt. Whoever first said “time heals all wounds” was not in the right. When allowed to have more time to “simmer” on something that bothered you, it is easy to have those thoughts escalate into more harmful and severe thoughts without having anything worse done to you. The longer you wait to talk about what has hurt you, the harder it is to bring the issue back up. It is easy to have something that hurt you years ago seem as if it is “water under the bridge”. When these things come to our knowledge we need to be able to love the other person enough to give peace to the past memory.
How do we bring more forgiveness into our context here at Good works? This has been the question I have been wrestling with for some time. We are strong in encouraging each other to share when we have been hurt. Our growth could be in sharing forgiveness with those we serve. It is often that I see men and woman who have allowed harmful past relationships dictate their lives. How many times have I wanted to go to them and say “have you seen the payment Jesus has made for this hurt?” But in order for that to happen we need be a community of trust. We should desire to be a community that they would be able to trust with their wounds. We also need to be a Community who forgives when we have been wounded. I need to be a man in a community that is striving to heal those who are wounded. Even if we are not the reasons for their Unforgiveness, we need to be sensitive to what has caused them hurt and beseech the Lord on their behalf. Through Prayer, Fasting, Listening and being honest, we can help Teach and Give Forgiveness.
— Steve Rogers
All of us have weaknesses and shortcomings. We need and desire the ongoing transformation of God. We believe that God has the power to heal us, and that we can help produce healing in those around us through God’s love in us. We know and believe this, but sometimes wounds, scars, and pain keeps us from connecting with it. We need a community where we can be honest about our struggles and failures without fear of rejection; where we can bring our pain and know that we will receive love and acceptance in the midst of our hurt; a place where it is okay to be broken, have problems, and admit failure.
For this, we need a healing community. Building a healing community begins with, as World Vision founder Bob Pierce used to say, “letting your hearts be broken with the things that break the heart of God. It begins with a willingness to listen before we speak, and a humbleness that realizes, “there, but for the grace of God, go I.”
I believe that we, the Good Works community, are a healing community, that our hearts are broken with the things that break the heart of God, and that we are fellow-strugglers walking with each other; finding healing for ourselves and helping anyone else who comes to this community to find it as well. We value relationships over buildings or programs. Relationship-centered ministry is based upon mutual respect, humility, openness, and caring when interacting with all people. “Transformation to healing in all dimensions of life is guided by The Spirit of Truth, empowered by the Love of God, and motivated by compassion for others and self.” (from www.healingcommunity.org under Stewards of Transformation.)