A Symbolic Injury
by Kimberly B. Southall

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Just a few hours after my husband and I came to the inevitable conclusion that we must remove our membership from a local congregation, God sent a clear message to me in the form of an injury.

As I began to descend the staircase in our home, the sock on my left foot slid on the edge of the step. My left foot then continued to slide down two additional steps. I then faced the instantaneous decision to either fall head over heels down a flight of stairs which would result in serious injury (and possible even death) or lean backward and twist my right ankle. Instinctively, I chose the latter. And, oh, that did hurt! Yet, I was still able to limp around. And two days later, my ankle had healed sufficiently for me to walk without limping.

It didn't take me long that night to figure out what God was trying to tell me. He was showing me, in a way I could hardly ignore, that we had made the right decision. Just as I had faced the choice on the stairs (which wasn't much of a choice at all), my husband and I had made the only choice available to us, given the circumstances. The church leaders' attempt to keep "sin in the camp" hidden and their refusal to use Biblical discipline (according to either Matthew 18:15-17 or 1 Corinthians chapter 5) clearly left us no alternative but to worship elsewhere. (Ezekiel 12:1-7) And just like the incident on the stairs, I had "slipped a few notches" before realizing what was happening. (Because I had known about the sin within the congregation for three weeks and had kept silent, my worship during that time was also unacceptable to God.)(Proverbs 25:26)

Fortunately, I did catch myself from taking the spiritual "fall" by pulling back, even though it was quite painful. (Matthew 7:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; and James 4:7) My husband and I chose to stand firm on the Word of God rather than follow foolish men. (Matthew 7:24-27) I thank God for my knowledge of the scriptures which kept me from falling into spiritual death. (Psalm 119:105)

Copyright © 1997 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.