A Word from Our Chaplain

Word From Our Chaplain

In the larger Christian faith tradition, of which I am a part, adherents in numerous
denominational affiliations often theologize from the reference that they call The Fall, meaning how humankind is a fallen, sinful creature (original sin, they call it) in need of God’s grace of healing and salvation. However, I don’t start there. See, if there was a fall, then there had to be an arrangement that preceded that tumble, a place, if you will, from which we fell.

That’s where I begin. Instead of original sin, I theologize from original blessing. We were created in the Imago Dei, Image of God, in our individual likenesses. We were created as blessing meant to be blessings. We were created in the perfect (complete, whole, uninjured, healthy, sound) Image of God, but have lived our likenesses in often imperfect human ways, be those ways of our choice or ways that came to us unbidden (genetic predispositions, accidents, harm by others).

And when we look around it’s so easy to see all the brokenness, the injuredness, the
unwholesomeness of life. But, the truth is that we wouldn’t know any of that unless we somehow already knew what preceded it, what was original to us and life, what has always been present from the beginning.

Which is what God instituted in the beginning. That God-given perfection
(wholeness/completeness/unblemishedness/soundness), which eventually came to be known as “holy” (comes from whole) in the context of religion, has never been absent, never not been present. And, since it’s our original state, no matter when or where or how or who we were born, then it’s a state of life that we inherently, unconsciously, spiritually know we want to be. In other words, we are all constantly aware of our injuredness, our unwholeness, our brokenness because of that ever-present Wholeness/Holiness that is essentially each one of us—and, truly, all of the life around us—and which is always informing and wanting to reform us to be It again.

That’s what it means to be healed (“heal,” the root of health, comes from whole). The things about us that have fractured our original state of Wholeness are always pulsing back to be part of that divine State. It’s like a giant magnetic pull that keeps us yearning to be reunited with that larger Presence. I don’t think any of us ever gets there wholly except when we completely die to this life. But I don’t think that matters, either. What matters is that we are in this continuous human evolution of recognizing Whose
we are and who we can be, never complacent in our brokenness or injuredness, or content to allow others to suffer alone, but always hoping, yearning to participate more and more in our original created state of perfectly human God-blessedness.

And I believe that’s enough, thanks be to God!

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