Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Lame Walking

Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15:29-31

Years ago, I had knee surgery to repair an on-going problem with my right knee cap. Mark and I were married then but we had no children yet. Dr. McIntyre, who did the surgery, was a wonderful surgeon and often did he surgery at Children's Hospital, later Kernan's. He scheduled my surgery there and the operation went smoothly. The staff were lovely and patient, as they had all sorts of challenging children there to care for. I remember how painful it was the first time they had me stand after the surgery, I thought I might be sick. And then, as I had regular therapy and things progressed, it just felt like mild torture to walk. One day, a theater group was coming to entertain the kids and they thought it might be nice if I went too. I was feeling pretty glum and sore but decided to go along. My choices at that moment were pretty limited. When they wheeled me into the room, I found myself surrounded with children, so damaged from illness and injury, that I was ashamed of myself. One child was strapped into a frame that was regularly rotated so that she could only see the performance straining to look down or up. Others were in full body casts, in tiny cribs with limbs suspended above them. And they smiled at me and enjoy the performance completely.

After taking a walk along the sea, Jesus sat down on a hillside and people came from all around. They brought their injured, their sick, the children, their treasures, somehow knowing that he would cure them. The lame walked, the blind saw and all sorts of healing took place among them. I can't begin to imagine the relief the families felt and the freedom the healed must have felt in those moments. Life restored, life to be lived and enjoyed! We cannot know how glorious and precious the ability to enjoy life is, until that is taken away from us. And the moment of restoration and healing must have been like an explosion of joy. There must have been crutches and all sorts of sick equipment littering that hillside.

Today, I want to thank God for the life and health I enjoy - and for the health of my family and community. It is so easy to find things to complain about and pains to hold us back, and yet, to be complete and able to move is a great gift in itself. May we rejoice in our God, who loves the perfect and the broken alike, and who is constantly acting to restore life and health.

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