Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good morning, blues.

When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had already been there a long time,
he said to him,

"Do you want to be healed?"

Do you want to be healed? Why did He even have to ask. Duh of course I want to be healed. Or do I more often refuse to see myself as He does, invalid and in need. And nakedly cling to panhandling rags and deadly cures, while to His remedy saying "Eh... nahh."

Do you want to be healed? What, I need to be healed?! This is what Leadbelly was in on. You gotta first admit and greet your blues, and then ya gotta sit your blues down, get acquainted with and befriend them.  Even when we are spectacularly blue, tangibly battered, visibly bruised, we try to outrun the specific brokenness, if we even recognize it. Rather than face the pain frontally and walking through--not around or over--it.  Most spontaneously we react by avoiding, ignoring, denying, or suppressing the suffering... We? Or maybe this is just me.

Do you want to be healed? But how ever will I accept myself, and claim that uniqueness, until I also accept the suffering as mine? Our many bugouts these last weeks say again that there is something intimately individual and accordingly revealing about the way you and no one else breaks and about the way that God purposes that brokenness to serve your good. Would you be healed, He asks, because He wants to take the stripes and the burden and be my Healer where I've settled for anesthesia or waited to be carried by all sorts of lesser-than-Him things.

Befriending your blues sounds a bit twisted, I guess. Maybe more accurately... I gotta stare down the anguish squarely. Courageously, not masochistically. Face it. Until I step into the pain rather than away in retreat I'll just remain paralyzed "lying there... a long time" as the sickness and soreness fester, metastasize, and the eyes grow dim to hope.

That day by the Sheep Gate, the invalid found after 38! years! that his affliction was not an obstacle, but the very vehicle, to life and joy and peace.

I want to be healed, Lord Jesus.

Take me to Bethesda, your house of mercy, where you will stand me up in and grow me strong through the pain, where joy and sorrow are not opposites. I need to be healed.

Thank you for this Family that loves me when I'm blind, lame, and paralyzed. You give them to keep me standing here as they encourage me to not resist your healing by running away from my blues, and as they stand by the broken and as they step back to let your pruning run its full course.

Where I suffer, heal my unbelief, so I would suffer with you and thus enter into your glory: Into the peace deeper than anguish, the life stronger than death, the love that conquers fear.

By your saving, healing name Jesus,
YES! I want to be healed.

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