A BLOG OF METAPHORS
By Ken Johnson
“Now, may the God of peace… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ…” Hebrews 13:20 – 21
Gary and Amanda Fox have been equipped by God to come alongside broken churches and help them heal; they are church doctors. They came to New Life sixteen years ago, ready to minister God’s healing touch to a hurting body. Last Sunday, New Life said thank you for the years of “good medicine” they poured into the lives of our church and into our community.
The gifts that Gary and Amanda possess that are vital in bringing healing to a hurting church and hurting people are much like the tools found in a doctor’s bag. Such tools allow a doctor to diagnose an illness, understand its effects and implement a treatment that brings wholeness. If we were able to look inside the bag of what God has given the Foxes, here are some of the things you would find:
The Gauze of Compassion – When first encountering wounds, it is important to protect them, to cover them and allow them to begin the healing process. Compassion is like a wrapping of gauze that prevents further trauma to vulnerable places. Wrapping and rewrapping wounds with gauze is not a glamorous task; it takes gentle patience over a long period of time before healing can be seen. For their whole lives of ministry, the Foxes have faithfully administered such patience.
The Stethoscope of Understanding – A stethoscope lets a doctor hear the rhythms of the heart. Gary and Amanda have an especially well-tuned ear for knowing what such rhythms mean. This is not only true when they listen to what is happening in the lives of people, but they also understand, with great depth, the rhythms of God’s heart FOR people. They have devoted themselves to conveying the message of God’s heart for humanity, that He is for them and not against them, that He wants relationship with them and that His love never fails.
The Tongue Depressor of Hope – The Bible says that, “The tongue has the power of life and death,” Proverbs 18:21. For many years, the Foxes have spoken God’s words of life to countless people and through the living Word working inside them, they have turned words of confusion, bitterness and despair into words of hope; and hope is eternal.
The Otoscope of Listening – There is a despair that comes from being hard of hearing. When it is difficult for people to pick up voices, there is a constant struggle to understand what’s happening around them and how they should be responding to their environment. An otoscope is that instrument that doctors so often put inside a patient’s ear in order to see what is preventing the sound from coming through clearly. The Foxes are listeners. In hearing people’s stories they are able to see past the confusion and striving in their lives and to bring them into a place where they can hear and trust God's voice for themselves.
Being a good doctor is more than simply possessing the right tools, it is a matter of truly caring for people and using those tools with wisdom. Gary and Amanda Fox are wonderful “doctors”. Next week, you will discover exciting developments in the scope of their “practice”.