Is the Church Really a Hospital?
Having spent the last two-and-a-half weeks almost completely living in the hospital where Hannah is being treated, I’ve been immersed in a whole new world. Whether it’s sleeping by Hannah’s bedside in the ICU night after night, or walking the halls and corridors of this incredible place, one thing has become glaringly apparent: Hospitals are full of hurting people.
We all know that people get injured, but when you’re living in hospital for several weeks of time, you begin to realize it’s a massive epidemic. People are in wheelchairs. They are young — some just children. Some are older. Some walk with a limp. Others have bandages. Some are rushing into the Emergency Room with obvious wounds. Some have just come out of surgery and are being wheeled down the hallway with multiple contraptions attached to them. Some have been there for years it appears, getting ongoing treatments.
It is interesting how hospitals attract hurting people. People realize they need help, know that something’s broken, and they cannot fix it by themselves. People are hurting everywhere. People are injured. People have got diseases. People have emergencies. And they all come to this central place. I wonder if we could put our glasses on, as it were, and see what all of humanity is going through, if they would all be in just as bad shape physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
I wonder, if we could see through God’s eyes, would many of those we come into contact with every day look like they’re wandering the halls of a hospital, looking for a physician or someone who can give them some kind of help? I wonder, if our churches were really perceived as a place of healing, would these hurting people be streaming into our doors every week?
I wonder if many of them are already walking in our doors? We see them as “visitors” when really they’re checking to see if the Physician can help them.
I’m also amazed at all the people employed by hospitals who make them run. Of course there are innumerable medical employees – doctors of every sort, surgeons, specialists, nurses. There are counselors and psychiatrists, too, and people who specialize in wrapping people’s wounds and helping them manage pain.
They all sort of look the same. They all are either wearing scrubs or some kind of a white coat with stethoscopes around their in the necks, treating patient after patient. All of them know their jobs, and at the right point in treatment, they come in and execute their skills.
In addition to the medical personnel, there are the people who cook the food, the people who clean the dishes, people who work on the heating, and the air-conditioning, and the lights, and the building maintenance. Every single role is imperative in order for a single person to get well.
I begin to wonder if we as the body of Christ all understand the role that we play in the same way.
Do we know what part of the healing process we were designed to play in the Kingdom of God and in the lives of those who are hurting all around us? Have we been trained? Have we refined our skills? Are we on call, waiting for opportunities to reach the hurting people all around us?
It is true that Hannah would be waiting, would continue to wait, and would never progress to the next level of healing unless the next specialist walked into the room to assess, and then take her to the next level. I wonder how many more people would be helped and healed if we all similarly pursued our roles in God’s hospital, the Church?