One of my favorite magazines is National Geographic. In the February edition I was moved by an article authored by Caroline Alexander and photographed by Lynn Johnson, entitled, The Invisible War on the Brain. Reading the piece jars one to see a particularly devastating aspect of modern warfare.
Alexander begins to scrape away at how explosive blasts effect service people. She details the many side effects that come from these incidents. One soldier states, “If my hand or arm had just been blown off, then people would understand. They’d see there’s something wrong.” The scarring is not so much physical as it is social, emotional and psychological. It damages the soul.
Medical science is just now beginning to see the complexity of these kinds of interior wounds. Treatment is still in infantile stages. Alexander discusses how service members are making masks, providing a cathardic tool to make sense of their wounds, too deep for language. Our claim is to be a people of healing in a broken world. How do we serve in these kinds of difficult places? Are we able to reach out to those whose lives have been devastated? These are the things we will figure out on the journey, discerning how God would have us to serve. But beyond this community we have tools, one of which is Week of Compassion.
Week of Compassion is all about healing, here in North America and wherever there is brokenness and scarring. Watch for news in your upcoming Bridge about how our contributions bring hope in places of fragmentation. We are a church that prays for and acts on behalf of those in need of the healing hands of Jesus.
We will receive offerings on both of these Sundays. The fund goes through the Disciples Missions to front line aide for people in tragedies and disasters. Our congregation has always given generously to this special offering.