Day 18: BROKEN/SHATTERED
Matthew 8:29 Suddenly they shouted, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
I was on a call the other day, a conference call with dozens of women in ministry processing how they were feeling and thinking in the wake of the election – in the wake of our country electing to highest office a man who has demeaned, dismissed, groped, and assaulted women, in public, with no shame.
For an hour and a half, these women shared where and how they were. There was grief, and anger, despair and depression. There was sadness, dejection, confusion, and lament. There were some who were ready for action, swift and bold; there were some who still dumbfounded and in shock.
There was also hope.
One woman – a woman who is no stranger to grief herself – shared her hope. Maybe, she said, all this grief and despair is breaking us open to something new.
I do believe that’s how it all works, the death and resurrection business. You don’t get newness until the old passes away. You don’t get resurrected until you know death.
This verse from Matthew is demons, shouting in protest of their impending exorcism.
Jesus is about to cast them out of a human being and into a herd of swine. They are afraid.
In Mark’s version of the story, the man who had been possessed tries to follow Jesus – attempting to stow away in his boat when Jesus gets up to leave, begging Jesus to let him go with him. I would do it, too, if someone like Jesus showed up one day and cast out every demon dogging me.
But Jesus won’t let the newly-healed man get in the boat. “Go home to your friends,” he tells him, “and tell them what the Lord has done for you, what mercy the Lord has shown you.”
Can you imagine THAT guy’s testimony back at temple the next week? “Yep, right into them there hogs, I tell ya!”
Healing requires pain, I think. All the demons have to get out, somehow, and that particular exit cannot be pleasant. The demons do not want to go. “NO,” they shout, “STOP TORMENTING US! WE WANT TO STAY RIGHT HERE!” Like lancing a boil, cleaning a cut, clearing the air: all the nastiness has to exit before the wound can heal.
So, maybe it is true. Maybe all the grief and despair – the honesty about exactly how broken and shattered we are, the revelation about how deep the wound was, the pulling back the curtain on who and how we really are – maybe it is all making way for some new thing headed our way.