Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Heaven is at Hand

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.  Hosea 11:3-4

Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.  Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”  Matthew 10:7-8

Prodigal Son’s Prayer
Lord, I lay my heart before You
And I pour out my very soul.
Desperate, You know what I need
As empty before You I go.

Lord, strengthen my weary heart--
Make it strong once again.
For only You can meet this need,
Hold me tight, my Savior Friend.

I know no other way to go
I’m spent beyond my measure.
Fill me Lord, my Life, my Song
Spin my life with peace, Your Treasure.

Gone are the majestic royal terms that many of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible used to portray the Lord.  Hosea personalizes the image of the Lord and the relationship which the Lord has with His people – even if they do not understand it.  After all that the Lord has and will do, “[T]hough I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.”  (Hosea 11:4b)

However, that relationship is not a one-way street.  In return for the grace of His friendship, Jesus issues instructions for the ministry of his disciples.  Today, Christians are instructed to carry out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and the seven precepts of the church to start. These lead us to want a deeper relationship and to explore how to get there through pious practices, studying sacred scripture and putting love into action.

These days, it is hard NOT to know who your healer is.  The obvious choice are your health care providers: nurses, doctors, dentists, medical technicians, and aids of all types (even the medical equipment salespeople may instruct the surgeons in the operating room).  However, when I have visited hospitals like George Washington University Hospital or Fairfax Hospital for scheduled or emergency procedures, the steady stream of people coming into my room or to my bedside are hard to track.  Sometimes I may encounter a person for only one critical procedure but that might mean the different between life and death.  Heaven may be at hand but if you get through this illness, then we can finish a little more of our work on earth. 

Plus, I have usually been so drugged up or had so many IV lines into my arms and hands, that it is hard to write down the names of everyone who comes into you room. One good development that I like is at some hospitals, your regular team signs a little white board in the morning and then later when the night shift changes.  Nurse: Joe.  Tech: Paula.  Aide: Susan. 

Whose healer are you going to be today?  (Will you sign in so they know who you are or will you serve them anonymously?) 

Who will be your healer?  How will you know when they show up and have done their job?

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