War carries casualties in its wake. In this picture taken by the Jamaica Observer's Michael Gordon, soldiers of the Jamaica Defence Force help one of its own wounded in the fight in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston. Jamaica.
In it lies the powerful symbolism of how team members deal with their own in the face of tragedy. Compared to this is the sad notion that has oft been quoted that the church is the only group that leaves or worse still that shoots its wounded or its fallen comrade.
There are so many church leaders who hurt and who suffer in silence because they fear that should anyone know of their pain, or their struggle they would become victimized. John Loftus of exchristian.net raises some interesting questions for us answer.
It seems that there are dimensions to our faith that we have not yet grasped properly, forgiveness, restoration and grace on the one hand and accountability, restitution and reconciliation on the other. The effect is that church leadership becomes bedeviled by a deep inconsistency and a void is created in men and women, who want to walk in the power of the Spirit but who do not have the safety-net of community or peers in the same kind of way that the rest of the congregation does.
Personal weaknesses, structural inefficiencies within churches, the intensity of spiritual warfare, unreal and immature ministry expectations, the virulent clergy-killing machines within churches all conspire to place the church leader at a disadvantage.
Unless the church leader understands these realities and is willingness to be deliberate about effective self management, be wiling to help to pay the price in transforming church culture and be willing to live openly then when he is wounded by some arrow, may God help him.