As I sifted through a new stack of mail the other afternoon, a cover blurb on the latest copy of my denomination's magazine, The Banner? caught my eye. While the words Healed to Lead weren't compelling enough to make me turn to the article immediately (sorry, Banner editors!), the words intrigued me as a concept. In the midst of the million little tasks that occupied the rest of that day, I kept thinking, How have I been healed to lead?
I thought about the things from which I'd been healed: all those migraines, that horrible bout with mono in college, the broken nose, and, eck, those episiotomies! I had experienced plenty of ailments or injuries that God had mercifully healed, but had anything made me a better leader?
The article, as it turned out, focused on a recovering alcoholic and abuse survivor whose experiences with pain and God's healing shaped her church-planting ministry. We hear a lot of those stories in Christian circles: the people recovering from the "big sins" or those miraculously healed who go on to start ministries or write books and use their stories to inspire others. Praise God for these people!
But what about those of us whose stories of healing and recovery aren't quite cover copy material. Can we still see instances where God has healed us to lead? I kept thinking deeper about this. Had God used my broken my nose - shattered in a riding accident and healed via the hands of a gifted plastic surgeon - to make me a better leader? Since the surgery left my nose a shave thinner - and, I think, better - if I were appearing on a sentimental plastic surgery/makeover TV show, perhaps I could make myself cry and talk about how my new thinner nose gave me a confidence boost in my appearance, which helped me lead. But that would be bull and completely sad (as it is when women profess their new big boobs give them confidence!). Not to mention, this is totally out of God's character.
The reality is that the healing that had taken place had less to do with reshaping my nose and more to do with reshaping my soul. And when I look closely at other instances of healing - the migraines, the mono, and, I suppose, the episiotomy (though I haven't quite figured this one out yet) - I see his hand at work not only in my body but in my character. As my nose healed, so did my problem with vanity and pride. Once you've walked to your surgeon's office on Chicago's posh Michigan Ave. with a mangled face or made a major presentation with a nose cast on, you realize quickly that the confidence to keep your head up (even as people gawk at you in horror or bewilderment) and do good work comes only from the One who gifted you to do so. True leadership skills never will come from a great outfit or good hair or good boobs. And the best leaders will always acknowledge that we're still broken and in need of a Healer.
So how about you, gifted women: How have you been healed to lead?