Rarely do I preach a similar sermon in the same day…but today is an exception. This morning at Prism Denton we discussed the man with the withered hand found in Mark 3. Jesus approached the man with the withered hand and asked him to extend it. In an instance…the withered hand was healed. Truth be told, I have been stuck on that withered hand all day.
The extension of the withered hand was a very vulnerable act of exposure that should not be minimized. I can imagine the man pulling that hand out from behind a cloak and everyone gasping. The man came out as having a withered hand. The healing that came next is thought of as a physical one…the scripture says the hand was restored…but I wonder what it would look like if we thought about it as Jesus healing everyone’s judgment of the man with the withered hand. If we want to have true community and acceptance then we have to reveal our withered hands or those things that we hide. The closet is a similar analogy. The longer we run from closet to closet the more we forget who or where we are. The more we hide and closet those things about our selves that we don’t want anyone else to know about the more we wither or decay. Healing is found in the freedom of extension.
The withered hand was probably decaying and if the man had kept it hidden I wonder if the decay would have spread. In our lives, when we hide our withered hands and remain closeted about pieces of our selves we begin to lose track of who we really are and begin to decay from day to day. The longer we live as someone other than who we really are the more we begin to rot spiritually…for we can’t be honest with our self and if we can’t be honest with our self we can’t be honest with God. The vulnerability of being you is the beginning of the acceptance of being who you are and the beginning of the healing of honest and open community.
I think is time that we all lead with our withered hands and then they might not look so withered any more…they might just look like hands.