This past week was a bit of a struggle for me. I had a problem with my back, my sciatic nerve to be exact, which affected my leg also. Because of this problem for several days I used a cane to walk with, it supported me and kept me stable as I walked. Most of the time this cane sits in the back of a closet, but it’s great to have it when you need it.
Our son, Kirk is often seen carrying a cane. He has at times had to use it for the same reasons as have I, but most of the time he carries it for a different reason. He teaches Martial Arts and one of the forms he practices is called “Bartitsu,” which is called a “Mixed Martial Arts Form.” Basically Bartitsu is a form of martial arts that uses a cane as a defensive weapon.
I know it may seem strange to be writing about a cane, but I’m mentioning this because of a comment by a member of our church family, Gary. Recently he said, “Some folks say, ‘your religion is a cane (or a crutch) to get you through life when you can’t cope,’ and they are right, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s the way it is suppose to be.”
I hadn’t thought of it in that context before, but he is exactly right. We who are Christians have something that those who are not Christians don’t have. We have a hope, a faith, a belief in someone greater than any problem we can face on earth. While dealing with my back injury there were a couple of times that my cane kept me from falling when my leg gave out. It supported me and did exactly what a cane is supposed to do. Our cane (or our crutch), is Christ and His church and it is doing exactly what it is suppose to be doing; helping and supporting us, keeping us from, falling. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.” Christ understands and supports us, holds us up when we are about to fall, “IF” we hold tight to him as our cane and our support.
In a different application a spiritual cane is also that which is used to protect us and fight against Satan, (The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church, Matthew 16:18). That shows an aggressive approach to fighting Satan… so our cane, our crutch is useful in that way also. There are times that we as Christians must take a stand against Satan and Sin!
So, my conclusion to all of this is that yes, Christ and his church are my cane, my crutch, and I’m proud of it, because I know my weakness, I know how easily I can fall. Maybe you need to become more involved in the use of this cane to lift up yourself and others. Each of us have a choice; we can leave Christ leaning in the back of the closet or take him out and make him a real part of our lives. Could it be that you need to learn to lean on Christ and his Church a little more than you do?
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.