February 26, 2009
“Community Fractures and Casts”

I saw Gerry Doty last night at our Ash Wednesday service. He had a “boot” on his right foot- one of those “broken bone” kind of boots. Gerry had taken a tumble off of a ladder about 5 weeks ago and initially he was told that it was some torn ligaments in his ankle.
BUT a few weeks later the fracture became more apparent. It had been there, but hadn’t been seen. The boot cast will now bring stability to it as it heals from the brokenness.
A similar situation happened on a community-wide scale yesterday, Ash Wednesday. A decision to close seven elementary schools and one middle school was approved by the Colorado Springs School District 11 board. Two of those seven elementary schools are within a mile of our church. We’ve had significant relationships with them, and will continue until they are adjourned for the summer.
Decreasing enrollment district-wide and funding were the two factors that brought the fracture to the surface.
What happens now is even more crucial! What is “the cast” for our community that will bring stability to it as it heals from the brokenness? When the school system has had to look at “the bottom line” what is the “cast” that has the ability…the vision… to look beyond the bottom line?
When it is functioning according to God’s design for it, the church is the answer to that problem. The followers of God have the capacity to be the “cast” that helps the healing process slowly happen.
And, boy, is there a lot of healing that needs to happen!
But you see a cast is necessary. Gerry’s foot wasn’t getting any better. Either that or he just got used to the pain and discomfort! There was going to continue to be an unsteadiness in his walk until the support was added. He could have even adjusted his walk to mask the pain, but after a while the lack of proper support for the broken area would have shown up in the affect it would begin to have on other areas, like hips and knees.
When schools close there needs to be that force…that device that brings the community together. It’s not going to be a corporation or company. They have to look at the bottom line. It’s not going to be the local government. They’ve got their own version of splintering that they are dealing with.
It’s got to be…it’s got to be the people of God!
“Blessed are the peacemakers…” (Matthew 5:9)
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
Being “the cast” is part of our function, part of our purpose. Casts for fractures aren’t the most comfortable fit. They are about “proper healing”, not about what feels good. They are about the health in the future, not soft cushions for the present.
The church is the cast. Can you see the splatter spots from the “plastering experience”? It’s a little messy, but the end result is good.
My vision, and I’m hoping our vision, is of a community that is healthy spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and relationally. Perhaps you think I’m a dreamer. I’ll gladly be “cast” in that role! (Excuse me for the pun!)

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3 Comments on “”

  1. tdalrymple Says:

    Great analogy!!! I agree that we, as the church, needs to be the “cast” for both schools until they close this summer. We can pray for the school staff, students and parents every day. We can continue to offer assistance for any needs and shower the school with our love and support. Thank you for your insight and words.

    • wordsfromww Says:

      Thanks Thelma. I just came in from changing the sign to read “May the grieving for our schools bring us closer together.”

  2. Mike Says:

    Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

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