October 6, 2020
By: Rev. Rob Parsons
What would you do in your ministry/mission if you had unlimited financial resources?
…actually, think about that.
Okay, now reflect on this question: What would you do in your ministry/mission if you had no financial resources?
Did anything surprise you? These are the two questions I posed to myself as I prepared facilitate a county-wide Listening Event for National Recovery Month. We are seeking to discover the differences in community recovery services and successes from before Covid-19 and now during Covid-19.
What I discovered is that I am excited by the possibilities of the programs and systems we could offer for mental health and substance use recovery in my community. My mind runs all around with what “could be”. However, what absolutely surprises me is what I thought we could do without special resources. Actual people I know and their powerful stories of recovery and growing in well-being began to flood my mind. None of these were easy answer stories. They were scary and dangerous accounts of confronting despair. And, wait on it… they were also accounting of magnificent recovery, of a wholeness still humbly in progress. Healing, both spiritual and physical is always involved. I realize the that a move into healing is not dependent on the money. Don’t get me wrong, money can help lots of things, but it isn’t the ultimate thing. In the most granular sense, healing isn’t tied to money it is present in the connections. Healing is present in the connections to God, neighbor, community and self. I don’t want to lose sight of the importance of connection during Covid-19; it isn’t the ways we connect but that we connect which is important.
I think of the woman who was healed in Mark 5:24b-34. “She had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians and had spent all that she had; and she was not better, but rather grew worse.” Racked by the isolation prescribed by her society, her lack of resources, and despair, she acted out of hope for connection. As we all know, she reached out in faith and touched Jesus’ robe without his pre-approval and, “Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.” The healing power of connecting faith, hope, and love go beyond my understanding but not my planning. I try to put practices in place that make me and my community vulnerable to the healing miracles of Jesus. I encourage you to seek the grants, budgets and generosity you need to do your work. Nonetheless, don’t despair when there is a lack of resources because that is when we get to rely most powerfully on the Spirit which is our connection to God and each other. Amen! (Want a deeper dig on the power of connections, read Johann Hari’s book, “Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope”).