Here in Oklahoma – everyone’s hurt and hurting.
The Thunder have it bad. Kevin Durant has surgery on his pinky toe. In the second game, Russell Westbrook broke a finger in his hand. And then you can start going down the line with injuries throughout the roster, enough so that it’s tough for them to field any sort of competitive team.
Many of us would never know to get our pinky toes operated on. Craig certainly wouldn’t. But (as far as I know), he’s not being paid $10 million a year. He doesn’t get a massage every day. He doesn’t have personal chefs and personal trainers, a life coach to attend to his every need, and rose petals like at the beginning of Coming to America. I will have to do some investigation to substantiate that none of these things are true for him, but I’m guessing I’m right since I know the operation they’re running at The Academy.
So Craig and Russell Westbrook aren’t quite in the same boat. Most of us learn to live with it if our backs are misaligned and our toes are crooked and our fingers get hairline fractures. We carry on. The doctor (if we go at all) says there’s nothing he or she can do and sends us back out there. We don’t sit for four-to-six weeks. We get back to work. We get back to life. To school. To parenting. To church. To friendship. To limping along.
But we’re still hurting. Everyone’s hurting. We’re all cracked somewhere. It’s a bang up world. It’s rough. There are bodies everywhere, colliding around with very few referees and rules that we get to claim to help us. No one is fine. No one is immune. No one just completely bounces back better than ever. It’s all somewhat in jeopardy. We hurt and we hurt others.
I think it will be a pretty interesting season for the Thunder, and I’ll want to watch and follow along because it’s my team and we’ll see how they handle adversity. Sure, I’d love for this to be the year for them to win the championship. They might have had a legitimate shot, though the Spurs aren’t wilting and the Cavs may get it together by the end of the year. Things look grim right now, but the Thunder could end up sneaking into the playoff and then doing some damage if it all comes together at the end. Perry Jones and Andre Roberson and others could develop in this early stage, which might help later on when they’re called on.
When your pastors and leaders are hurting, will you be able to step up and stand in and help out? Will you be able to lead the group, fix the problem, nail the shot and help us help others? When you are hurting, will you be able to cheer and work even in the midst of your pain? Will you get back in the game and encourage those who are being called on in a new and different way? Or will you stay away until you’re better?
We’re all hurting. That’s the deal. It’s what makes it interesting and challenging and something to follow along with and participate in. It’s what makes grace and healing and hope really real. The church is only filled with a hurting lineup, but Jesus is so much more present in that.