Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rahab or Rehab?

So, Billy Hill has a buddy that is recently divorced.  Billy Hill and his buddy were talking the other day over a snort of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (highly recommended) and his buddy laid out this Rubik’s cube of a dilemma for Billy to pontificate.  It has been haunting Billy every since and so, he is just putting it out there, sort of like giving a cold to someone else, so that he can get rid of it.  That is how it works right?  You sneeze and give the cold to someone else then you walk away a free man?  So, you put your dilemma out there for others to read and that pretty much takes it off your back?  Right?  We shall see. 

It is clear that the wounds from a bad marriage, an ugly divorce, a crappy dad, or any of a variety of other emotionally charged situations (death of a loved one, sexual abuse, physical and/or emotional abandonment, an abortion, etc.) are real and need healing.  The first step is to admit you are hurt and wounded and then try to identify what those wounds are.  This in and of itself can be a tough task.  It takes time, reflection, honesty with yourself, listening to others, and sometimes some wisdom from Above.  But the hardest part is just admitting it.  As a grade A, "number 1 in his class", bad ass, Billy gets that, even though he has never been hurt himself or wounded, he can see how those that actually have a soul could be wounded.  Billy, incidentally, does not have a soul, nor a heart for that matter. Who needs a heart when the only thing flowing through his slightly clean copper veins is bourbon, and yes its neat.  

But accepting the truth and identifying the wounds is not enough, you then have the whole issue of tending to those wounds.  Some wounds are worse than others and may require immediate triage.  But in general, there are two things that can be done.  (1) heal the wounds by medicating them or (2) simply get rid of the pain by anesthetizing the wounds (apply something that numbs the pain) – obviously, you could do both as well.

If you do not know what the wounds are, obviously all efforts will most likely be fruitless.  Bengay does nothing for a broken leg.  You cannot heal a sucking chest wound by taking a shot of morphine.  But once you know what the wounds are, you now have an even more arduous task of finding out what medicates the wound versus what anesthetizes the wound.  The first makes it better, the latter just makes the pain go away but does not heal the wound. 

If you only anesthetize the pain of a wound, you run the risk of never healing or even making the wound worse.  For instance, if you anesthetize a broken bone so you can walk, you most likely will cause more damage without even knowing it, that is until the bone comes poking out of your skin (sorry Billy just threw up in his mount a little bit).  So, for physical injuries, this is all easy peasy, but for emotional, spiritual and mental wounds, how in the world do you know what medicates and what numbs?

Suppose the wound is rejection and abandonment, closing yourself off from the world can prevent further hurt, but is it going to bring healing?  Likewise, jumping into another romantic relationship may anesthetize the hurt and pain but most likely does not medicate it. In addition, if the other person in the romantic relationship figures out that they are simply an aspirin or a shot of nitrous oxide, you could find yourself right back in the battle field getting more of the same wounds that you just openly shared with your hit of nitrous oxide that gets pissed off and starts poking you in the same wounds.  In addition, you may find that you just inflicted some wounds on the innocent party as well.  Well, crap!  That is not cool at all. 

Anesthesia is easy to find.  Bourbon, tobacco, pornography, a prostitute, sleeping which is sort of like a self induced coma, sleeping around, work, entertainment, eating, you get the point – it is a Rahab.  But, what medicates, what is the Rehab?

What about pouring into friends, mission work or the homeless shelter, all of these could simply be to anesthetize as well but, they have a nice gleam of righteousness so it seems like you are doing the right thing.  But, it may just operate to numb not heal. 

So should you close off from the world and just pour into the Word?  Is this all we have? Seeking after an intangible, inaudible, invisible God in an effort to bring healing for our hurting, our longing to be touched and held, our hunger to be accepted and desired, our craving to be loved and understood and understood AND loved?  Can this intangible God give a hug?  Can he hold you and say “it is going to be okay”?  After all, the promise in Revelations of wiping your tears away isn’t realized until your dead right? 

How do we find the right medication and avoid simply anesthetizing the wound?  Is it okay to have some anesthesia to bring comfort while we still seek for and apply medication?  

Identify the wound then identify the proper medication.  "Right Billy, and just how in the hell do you do that" says a questioning voice at a nearby keyboard?  Well, there is always the puppy swarm.  Surely that unconditional love would help.  Why can’t God give us a good old supernatural puppy swarm?  You may not realize this because you are probably not as smart as Billy but hey, doctors are just human body enginerds.  They only have a limited repertwar (or repertoire for your French speaking folk) of medications, a playbook and experience to tell them what works based on the perceived symptoms.  They apply it and if it does not work, they try something different.  Maybe that is what Billy’s friend needs to do, become his own emotional enginerd.  Press in to things that lift the darkness and don’t bite.  If it bites, try something else.  Then after a bit, step away for a time and see if there was healing (medication).  But if the same level of pain comes back, then perhaps it was just numbing (anesthesia).  Press back into the former and flee from the latter, I mean like don't pack your bags or a sandwich flee, just F L E E.  Cling to the Rehab and run away from Rahab.  But don’t forget, even Rahab had a bit of Rehab herself so don’t go killing Rahab, it isn’t about her, or him or it, or the bourbon.  It is not the vise that makes it a vise, it is the viser or the viseree (Billy sometimes is his own lexographer).  Billy Hill scratches his head and walks away thinking to himself “whew, I am exhausted but now its your problem, Billy is going to go grab a bourbon” because Billy, well he ain’t got no wounds, he’s a bad ass. 

Billy Hill here, I like it neat