Restoring the World (Tikkun Olam)

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Proverbs 27:1

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

I like to fix things. Most people do. It is a facet of our humanity that we create and repair.

Life is short. And in our short sinful imperfect lives we are called by God to be co-regents, to participate in the restoration of the Kingdom of God in the here and now.

Tikkun Olam in the Jewish tradition means restoring the world.

So how do you and I repair/restore the world together, how do we repair ourselves, the people in the complex and paradoxical world in which we live?

It is only through God the Father, Christ Jesus and the mentorship of the Holy Spirit that we can do this.

I am 63, soon to be 64 now and my health is not the best. I am a cancer survivor. Proverbs 27:1 states I am not guaranteed tomorrow. I live in the NOW and I must make my time in this now count for Christ.

Life is filled with mystery, courage, heroism, and love — all these things that we witness but cannot measure or even understand, but they are nevertheless part of the restorative process in which we participate.

Tikkun Olam is a collective task that involves all people who have ever been born, presently alive and yet to be born. We are all healers (or destroyers) of the world in the brief time we are given.

My own wounds, my own sufferings, have enabled me to feel compassion for the sufferings of others. Without my suffering, I wouldn’t understand the suffering of others or be able to connect to them or participate in the restoration of the people and world around me.

Vaneetha Rendall Risner is a writer, speaker, mother who tries to help people find joy and purpose in their suffering. Her life with polio among other adversities shows how God’s love transcends all circumstances and helps us in restoring the world around us. Her story explained briefly in the above video is the story of many if not most of us.

There are times in our lives that what appears to be a great adversity, will over time, build a strong foundation from which we can live a good life and help those around us flourish. You can ultimately live a good life even though it isn't an easy life. Disability and disease can become our norm by which we help bless the world around us. Most if not all people come to understand and experience this wisdom.

Adversity, illness and suffering are some of the ways God strives with our rebellion and influences us toward being more Christ-like. People that are disabled, sick or healthy; whatever their circumstance or condition are valuable to God and participate in this renewal even if it is unknown (except by God) to the world around them. Just as we are restored by Christ we assist in restoring the world around us.

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