Monday, May 18, 2009

THe Lesson of the Lash

A week ago Saturday my eye started to bother me. Being overtired, I assumed that was the main issue and thought little of it. THen it still bothered me on Sunday. Monday was a bit worse, so was Tuesday. By that time I realized that if anyone else told me they felt like there was something in their eye for 3 days I would suggest they need to get it checked. So I did.

Dr. looked in the office then had me come to ER to use a brighter light (I though Dr.s always told us NOT to shine bright lights in our eyes). Saw nothing. So I picked up some eyedrops and gave that a try.

Having spent much of WEdnesday and half of Thursday either squinting or holding my eye closed for relief I returned to ER on Friday morning. This time after more bright lights and some freezing drops and some poking and prodding the offender was found. An ingrown eyelash that was then promptly plucked out and the irritation dissappeared.

Upon further thought it struck me that the church needs to be somewhat like that eyelash. An eyelash is incredibly tiny but for those few says it made an incredible impact on my life.

How can the church, as it grows smaller on the political and cultural stage, learn from that lash? HOw can we continue to make a major impact (even if as a non-relenting irritant) on the world around us? ANd are we even willing to figure it out or give it a try?

OK, so the image of the church as an irritant may not seem all that positive. But then again I have previously compared the church to a rotting potato or onion (that destroys the whole bag in time). And of course the GOspels compare the Reign of GOd to some yeast that infects several measures of flower and the people seeking justice to a widow who annoys the local judge so much that she eventually gets her due.

So maybe the church needs to be an irritant under the eyelid that won't let us rest until it gets attended to.


  1. This is a nice and apt reflection Gord ... but I can't help but wonder if maybe the metaphor works the other way too ...

    Maybe the Church needs to take seriously the task of plucking out the eyelashes that are hindering our vision of what COULD and SHOULD be ... we'll live with pain and suffering lest we offend the esteemed leaders and those who hold the purse string ...

    IF we are to be the blessed irritant to the world, first we must clear our vision with a little intervention here and there ...

  2. Amen to both of you, Gord & Shawn!

  3. Pearls are what happens when a little irritation gets results! :)

  4. Interesting reflection Gord, I like the picture of Church as irritant!

  5. I've heard it preached on the image of a pebble in one's shoe, also...not a big thing, but it'll lame you in time.