Thursday, December 22, 2011

Choices for healing

I've been coughing my way through this week with what turns out to be a sinus infection. I rarely get sick and even more rarely feel the need to go to the doctor for anything. I tend to think that the body is a pretty miraculous thing and that it (mostly) balances and heals itself if we don't get too much in the way with medicines and such. I'm not prescribing that approach for anyone else, of course--but that's how I tend to look at the care of my physical well-being: I go to the doctor only if I have to.

But this week things looked like I was heading down Have To Lane. My cough got worse and worse; I couldn't sleep; I couldn't eat. I finally decided that if I wanted to be well enough to enjoy Christmas with my family, I'd better go let the doctor tell me what's going on and prescribe something if needed. The diagnosis: sinus infection. And today, after 24 hours on the antibiotic, I feel about 85% better. Thank God.

This morning the passage I read was in Matthew 9, which was fitting. It was the story of Jesus saying to the paralyzed man, "Your sins are forgiven," and then, when the Pharisees gasped in shock and whispered, "Blasphemy!", he responded, "Which is easier, to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Get up and walk'?" So he then told the man to get up and go home, which he did, to the astonishment of all the people looking on.

After my bout with sickness this week, I looked at that passage a little differently. Instead of just marveling that Jesus was able to do that, I heard that we have choices about how we heal, and about how we help others find healing. For some, it's through church. For others, it's through the doctor. For still others, it's through alternative routes. Some people go directly to the spiritual or mental cause; others focus on solving the physical puzzle. I love that the path we choose for healing--or the channel by which wholeness returns to us--may be less important than the fact that we heal. That feels freer and more in line with a big-hearted, compassionate, Everywhere God.

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