I have recently spent time at the hospital while my mother-in-law was recovering from surgery and I realized that I do not like hospitals. And it finally dawned on me why I do not like them: they are full of sick people. It’s the same reason I do not like to go to the doctor's office. That is where all the sick people go. You sit in waiting rooms with people who are not well. They have diseases that may very well be contagious. I do not even like to go for my physical. If I was healthy when I got there, I may not be when I leave. I am not like all those sick people; I am healthy. Well, most of the time.

I guess there are times when I might have a little bug. And I did have surgery for a surface melanoma. Sometimes I feel "under the weather." But I am not a sick person. I don't belong in a hospital, or a doctor's office, like those other people. In fact, I want hospitals to have a "sick" wing and a "you’re really not sick" wing. Maybe my doctor can have two waiting rooms.

Yet all of us, including me, get sick and need care. It is not healthy to deceive myself into thinking I am never sick, cannot get sick, and am never a sick person. So I am working on my perception of hospitals and doctor offices. They are places of healing for sick people, and sometimes that means me.

I wonder how many times we have distorted our view of churches the same way I do hospitals. Do we believe churches are for people who cannot "get it together," who have made lots of mistakes, and whose lives are a mess? Do we believe that does not describe us, or that we are not like those people who need church? The truth is, we are just like those people. I do not know of anyone who goes through life without needing help from anyone.

Churches sometimes seem to have gone to the opposite extreme. It is as if they want to appear to be a place where only healthy people meet to celebrate the fact that they are spiritually healthy. It was not meant to be that way. Churches are places of spiritual healing for those who are sick. And they are made up of those who have been healed ... even while remembering that we are survivors.

Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31).

That call is for me. If you are looking for healing and hope in your life, visit www.hopeforlife.org . Join our discussion about this on our blog. Or write me at steve@hopeforlife.org.

Churches are where the spiritually sick find healing.
I want to help you find spiritual healing.

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