Saturday, September 25, 2010

One Woman's Response

And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. Luke 4:38-41

Illness and disability are always disheartening and challenging for individuals and families. Physically, we have to make radical adaptations to our normal life's schedule and sometimes we have to let the pain or illness dictate the day. Emotionally, we have to deal with our dependence issues and sense of failure and incompleteness. Some folks feel as if they are less than others with illness and disability. Society sometimes encourages that perception. And spiritually, we often wonder where God is in all of this. We wonder whether we are being punished for something we did, or being a sacrificial lamb for our fam8ily or community. No one wants to be sick or disabled. And when we recover or find a life despite the challenges, we often find our way back to God, even if we have lost our relationship from anger or fear along the way.

Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law and she gets up and feeds her guests. For that woman, serving people, being a good hostess and welcoming strangers into her home is the ultimate act of demonstrated healing. Some say they should be taking care of her, but in truth her need to feel right and worthwhile superseded all of the good and proper way we would project on her. She wanted to do what would make her feel powerful and alive - what would make her feel normal. She demonstrated her thanksgiving, she responded to the healing by doing what she knew best - serving her guests.

Today, I want to live the gratitude of my healing by seeking ordinary ways to give thanks for the extraordinary gifts of healing and transformation in my life. Cooking and laundry may not seem like joyful responses to some, but when we are not able to do our simple functions, we know our lack and our need of God. And so today, I pray that the small, normal things I do, I might do as thanksgiving for all the love and healing I have been given.

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