Restoring Broken Wings
I remember when my daughter was 8 years old and going through physical therapy. Her elbow had been in a cast for several weeks, healing from a hairline fracture. As the therapist was stretching her arm out, she felt pain, and with tears in her eyes, she asked me, "Why are you letting them to this to me?" She didn't understand why I wasn't protecting her from the pain.
I tried to explain that the bone had been broken in a spot that if it wasn't corrected, she may not have full use of her arm. Since her arm had to be isolated in order to be restored, she would have to go through the difficulty of stretching so she could use her arm again.
During the time she was in a cast, we took her to New Mexico, and an Indian nicknamed her "broken wing." Today, I'm a co-pastor, and I come across people who are hurting in their soul. They remind me of the title "broken wing" and my daughter's experience of healing and restoration. I say to the Lord, "I see You have brought me another broken wing."
Restoration, whether from inside or outside of the church, can be a painful process. We all have had some kind of hurt, some more severe than others, but Jesus is able to heal anything IF we are willing to go through the process. Healing may require some isolation and restoration may require some stretching. It will require discernment for when to pull back and when to push forward. It will take patience - a lot of patience.
Sometimes as a co-pastor working with people God is trying to restore, I think of the time my daughter looked up at me with tear-filled eyes, asking why I was letting her go through a painful process. Sometimes the isolation period is a time of helping us see what we have come through more clearly. Sometimes God will bring correction, like the therapy, not to harm a person, but to help that person recover so he/she will be able to live to their fullest potential. The restoration process can feel painful. It can feel like rejection. It can feel like more hurt or manipulation. Many times the people God is trying to restore will withdrawal or reject help. Often the hurting people will turn on us, rejecting truth because it's painful. They may despise us because we want to wait to make sure they are ready for a next step.
It takes patience to help restore people. You can't be easily offended, because you could be criticized by the person or people who don't understand the real issues. You need to be prepared to let go, knowing they might withdrawal or run away. You need to stand strong to maintain confidentiality, because sometimes other Christians want to understand and struggle with trusting something in authority.
For the leaders who are working to bring restoration to the broken wings in the local church, you understand the responses and you take the high road. You give the truth, even when it can be tough to swallow. You require participation, even when it isn't appreciated. There might be 99 who walk away, but for the 1 who receives your love and ministry, there is a strength that one receives that is stronger than before the hurt even happened. Paul would tell the churches, "You are my joy." This is truth, isn't it? There is much joy in snatching someone out of the grip of the enemy, removing their triggers, and getting them back on track to fulfill their potential. When we watch how God heals and restores a broken wing, then how that person takes flight and soars for God, we can stand back and say, "Worth it." Hell lost another one! Worth it! Another wounded soldier is rising up to give Satan a black eye! Worth it! Another minister is equipped to multiply in the kingdom! WORTH IT!