Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?
Jeremiah 8:22 (NIV)
Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.
Luke 17:33 (NIV)
It seems to be a recurring theme in the news…reports of “lostness”, alienation, and uncertainty about the purpose and meaning in our lives. Even the idea of the “telos” of healing is at risk in a post-theological age. There is a missing dimension in our lives that is not filled by things or with technology.
What is central to the “lostness” is the aloneness of individualism and the mythology of the a zero sum culture…I win/you lose, I succeed/you fail, mine/not yours, etc. What if we believed that when we lose our life, we really gain it!
In the memoir, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics, we hear the story of competition but also see a reality of how losing oneself is redeeming. This is a personal story of Joe Rantz but also a story of the gentle mentoring spirit of George Pocock, the designer and builder of the boat. Here is one of the many lessons of George Pocock:
Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental— the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together.
The big question is what is that larger goal, that “telos”? Do we find it in our own strivings? For me, the healing purpose or “telos” is no easy prescription but a call to our vocation as healing agents. We have been called to bring a wholeness to a fractured world that we are part of. We need that other “outside voice” that gently reminds us and calls us again and again to a “telos” beyond our quick solutions and simple prescriptions. The paradox is that we find that “telos” for our lives in the witness of the “others” in our lives. It is in our suffering together that we find healing and for Christians, it is the example of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Brown, D. J. (2013). The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (First Edition ed.). Viking Adult.
Brown, Daniel James (2013-06-04). The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (p. 123). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition..
Hage, M.L. (2010). The “Telos” for Christian Healing Agents. Retrieved from http://healingagents.blogspot.com/2010/12/telos-for-christian-healing-agents.html
Hage, M. L. (2013). Resistance/Resilience. Retrieved from http://healingagents.blogspot.com/2013/08/resistanceresilience.html