Healing hurts.  Consider the healing path frequently traveled in western medicine.  An accident happens.  Bones are broken.  Surgery is required.  What does the doctor do?  Wounds the victim more!  Cuts her open, sticks her with a few sharp objects.  Maybe screws in a few bits of metal.  All this pain is justified.  Even honored.  Because the patient and the doctor know this is how she will heal.  Yes, a painful and pain-filled path is how we heal. 

YOU decide you are going to engage with this painful healing path.  To not decide is still a decision.  If we try to avoid the healing pain, then a different more painful path comes to us and sadly to the world around us. 

As I walk with those who want to change and want change in the world, the clear realization is that the first change is internal, personal, and important. 

Let us imagine each of us desires peace in the world.  We desire the fighting, the wars, the conflicts, the hate speech to all end.  Any peace that we extend into the world comes from our own reservoir of peace.  The first place this peace in the world must manifest is within each one of us.  Once we have internal peace, we can extend peace into our homes, between and among our neighbors, and out into the world.  Lovely, right?  And hard.  Oh, so hard.  You get to choose your hard.  This healing allows us to become the change we want in the world, the church, even our homes and families. 

As you work through the wounds of your inner life, you may feel worse for a time, you may want to judge yourself and hate others.  Keep moving.  Do not set up camp in the surgery hospital bed.   We need one another to heal; confess your wound to a trusted person so that you may be healed (James 5:16).  Yes, it is hard, and you get to choose your hard.  It is hard to heal and it is hard to be ill.  Choose life!