The Myth of Wholeness
How It Ought to Be_, by Craig Barnes, InterVarsity Press, 1991.
>From chapter one, "Telling the Truth"
[editor's note: This one is a little longer than usual. Please read with
THE MYTH OF WHOLENESS
Hope arises out of the hard truth of how things are. Christians will
always live carrying in one hand the promise of how it will be and in the
other the hard reality of how it is. To deny either is to hold only half of
the gospel. . . .
What we find in the scripture is the incredible promise that God has
broken into our brokenness to find us there. There is no promise that, having
found us, he will paste our fractured lives back together.
This doesn't mean that all of life doesn't have to be brought under the
healing of God. It does. But God's healing doesn't fit exactly with our
yearnings to have the pain taken away. As a church member with cancer once
told me, "There is a big difference between healing and avoiding death."
God's healing has more to do with learning to worship than it does with
getting life fixed. What God is eager to heal is the sickness of the soul and
the blindness of the heart that takes us down a painful road away from his
love. Worship is the means by which our eyes are opened.
In worshiping God we realize we were never created to be whole. God will
not restore what we were never intended to have. What we were created to
enjoy is fellowship with God, who alone is whole and complete.
Nowhere in the Bible are we told that God wants to give us wholeness. What
God wants to give us is himself. If we really believed that, it would be
enough. In fact, it would be more than enough. It would overwhelm us.
The effect of our facination with wholeness is that it embarks us on a
journey for which there is no end, a journey that takes us further away from
God. He invites us to journey in a different direction.
Have a great week,