Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt.4

Yesterday, I mentioned in passing that one of the ramifications of scoliosis is social stigma. The researchers tend to gloss over this saying there isn’t any real danger to the patient’s health, yet there is a real issue here that must be faced: "As for the cosmetic concerns, the researchers state that the untreated people 'can develop significant deformity, and the cosmetic aspect cannot be disregarded.'" (Ref) In the article from the University of Maryland Medical Center, the real impact on the whole person is brought out: "The emotional impact of scoliosis, particularly on young girls or boys during their most vulnerable years, should not be underestimated. Adults who have had scoliosis and its treatments often recall significant social isolation and physical pain." The bottom line is—scoliosis can result in incredible shame and ridicule. And the Gospel speaks to this. Dramatically.

Hannah knew about shame—she was unable to have children and in those days that was the ultimate shame for a woman. 1 Samuel 1:6-7 said, “And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.” Then God rescued her from her shame and brought her a son.

Hannah’s deliverance is such a beautiful picture of what God does for us through the Atonement. There are two kinds of shame: the shame from being sinned against and the shame that comes from sinning. Christ became a man and fully realized what it meant to be shamed—sinned against. (Hebrews 2:14-18) But then He also took on all of our sin-shame and bore that in His body on the Cross. He who knew no shame because of sin became shameful for us that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)

We’ve talked with Savannah much about this and she realizes that when she’s made fun of about the brace to remind herself that Christ experienced the shame of being sinned against. But more importantly, though we are sinned against, our biggest problem is that we have sinned against God.

The emotional pain that comes from being made fun of should never be dismissed. There is much comfort knowing that in the end He will right every wrong that has ever been done to us. But there is even more comfort in knowing that if we are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, every wrong we’ve ever committed against Him has already been punished and hence, forgiven.

Read about Savannah's Scoliosis
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 1
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 2
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 3
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 5

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