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ReflectiononDanAllendersTheHealingPath

2013MatthewHundley

Reflection on The Healing Path, Dan Allender Matthew Hundley Dealing with suffering is often something we tend to do reactively. We learn that a couple in our church is contemplating divorce and now we attempt to work with them to restore a marriage after much suffering and betrayal and battling has already occurred. The Healing Path that Dan Allender prescribes is something we need to engage offensively. The Healing Path involves arming ourselves with the tools to properly handle those situations that tend to lead us to despair, to suffer, to ask hard questions about God and about ourselves. In order to understand suffering we must first understand something about our fallen conditionand we must understand that there is a common enemy who seeks to delude, distract and destroy us. Allender lays the groundwork for the path by first discussing ambivalence and how weve got this tension between the good that God seeks to do through us and the evil that Satan hopes to captivate us by. As Satan seduces us we tend to rebel and disengage. Allendar writes about how we then forget Gods goodness, our dreams are dulled, and we estrange ourselves from the ones we love. Ultimately we estrange ourselves from our story. We forget who we are, where weve come from, and our purpose in life. Allendar gives us some tools to resist evil. First we need to arm ourselves with faith. Faith and trust in those around us. We also need to remembermemory is linked to our story; and ultimately memory is linked to His story. We not only remember the good that has happened to us, but we remember our suffering, and in doing so we sometimes encounter a healthy doubt which sends us in search for God. Though Allendar doesnt label it as such, I think this healthy doubt which keeps us asking the tough questions is as the heart of the healing path and the radical life that he is prescribing. This healthy doubt is our roadmap

ReflectiononDanAllendersTheHealingPath

2013MatthewHundley

in some ways, keeping us on the path of faith. And through examination of our story, His story and our faith in past, present and future we are able to have hopewhich Allendar defines as a refusal to allow our powerlessness or Gods silence to shake our confidence in God. Ultimately we need to surrender all we are to Gods mercy. Through our memory we experience doubts, which lead us to question God, and ultimately strengthen our faith and hope which drives us forward to love. Love is the delight we find in those around usour family members, friends, and others who partake in our story. Love is the delight we find in God and in Christ. Love involves the opening of our hearts to others. It is at the core of our humanity. It involves surrender and discipline, faith and hope, and is modeled for us by the one who was fully human and fully God. And so as Allendar brings us to a definition of the radical life he also brings us to the feet of Christ himself. Allender writes that the goal of redemption is to make us more human. He points out that we try too hard to be superhuman. He says, We are never more holy than when we become human like Jesus. The radical life is the life we need to lead in order to be on the healing path. We need to imitate Christ and this involves dignity and depravity; it involves going beyond our story and becoming active participants in the lives of others. The healing path is about engagement and relationship with God and with those around us. The healing path is where we offer our story up to Him and seek to make known the glory of God through our actions and service; through our hope and faith; through our love of Christ and others. I appreciate how Allendar builds out from our intimate hurts and suffering to spell out pre-emptive steps to battle against evil which bogs us down in doubt and despair. The Healing Path involves how we respond to tragedy and betrayal by modeling the love and patience and hope given us by Christ.