It just occurs to me that one of the crucial mistakes humans have made, keep making, and will always make, is trying to fix what is wrong in the world.

Evil is sort of a grabbing destruction, a forcing of oneself upon the unwilling recipient. Subjugation seems like submission, but it is not. The first operates by coercion, the second by desire.

It’s so tempting—I am tempted, even in this writing—to “fix” rather than heal. But fixing is always doomed to fail. It is impossible to critique without eventually falling into the same error, which will always be the same—the error of sin. The mistake made when operating according to a rhythm of exchange that is less than free. Sin, meaning to act along paradigm of power rather than of love.

And fixing, I think, is this same sort of exertion of power rather than of solidarity.

But to heal.

Healing is a bit more complicated. It is a slow, gradual process of coaxing what is good out of the brokenness. Healing is so much less about solving the problem to any satisfactory state of purity. Healing is not our work, but rather the bringing to life of someone else. It is done on one’s own, in the depths of one’s own heart—where reality truly lies.

Healing is the work of positing something beautiful—spotting the kernel of beauty in the present, ushering it from possibility into reality.

Healing sees something beautiful in the here and now—not anything achieved, but rather accepted.

And it seems to me that Christ the healer—salvation, which contains in its name the promise of relief—is the one who heals, not who fixes. His body bears wounds that will never scar. He does not even break a bruised reed, but loves with a gentleness that cherishes even the bruises.

The first task of healing is acceptance. And everything in us rails against that—wanting to collapse mystery into certainty, to wrest constants from our variables. But it is only from the solid ground of acceptance that love can grow deep roots.

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