Anatomy of a POTSC

By Joe Burnham: There’s no easy way to put it, so I’ll just lay it out there. I’m a former pastor, an ex-husband, and an adulterer. I always struggled with faithfulness during my marriage.  Be it a too-close friendship with a female friend, late-night instant message conversations, replaying the flirt from a waitress over and over in my mind…

…or the event that brought it all to an end – a late night arrest for trying to visit a prostitute.

As it turns out, many were quick to offer forgiveness after I confessed my sin.  But more than forgiveness, a certain community responded differently – with a second chance.  And what I’ve learned is that there’s something more to a second chance, and something more to grace, than just hearing, “You’re forgiven.”

So, what’s the difference? Let’s explore the anatomy of those I’ve encountered since my arrest: the anatomy of People of the Second Chance.

Heart The heart of a POTSC has been broken by failings, and rebuilt by the redemption, restoration, renewal, and resurrection it’s experienced. It’s tasted what the Old Testament calls shalom – not just peace, but health, wholeness, and well-being.

Ears The ear of a POTSC hears the full story, and the story behind the story. It acknowledges your past wounds that have never been treated. It wants to understand the why more than the what, so that it knows how to pray and where to love.

Eyes and Nose The eyes and nose of a POTSC place themselves inside your skin and try to sense the world as you do. They recognize that deep sensory investment is needed to develop true empathy, and are willing to feel pain alongside you.

Mouth The mouth of a POTSC gets the whole story before speaking. When it does speak, it points to God for righting wrongs and bringing healing.  Its words are balm to your wounds, and enable you to see the wounds you’ve caused others.

Hands and Feet The feet of a POTSC walk with you, sharing the pain of recovery and the joy of the eventual peace.  The hands of a POTSC catching you as you stumble, and pull you up when you fall.

Do you have the anatomy of a POTSC?

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