For Believers and Good Vibers: Reaching Out

Thanks for sending your prayers and good vibes. I ask that you continue to do so everyday until September 12. Just know wholeheartedly that you have the power to change things. Specifically to change the outcome of this next MRI.

Many of you know that I am a devout Christian (I prefer the word Christian because it was originally a derogatory term that earlier followers adopted which makes it subversive and punk rock…which I like) and firmly believe in the power of prayer. I also appreciate the good vibes I’ve been receiving a lot and believe that whatever aspect of quantum mechanics is at play makes a difference as well. I’ve put together a little devotional that I’ll continue doing during one of the longest months of my life. A devotional for both “Believers” and “Good Vibers”.

Day 1 (For Believers):

One of my favorite images that I’ve had in mind through tough times during this journey (especially during radiation) is of the sick woman who after touching Christ’s cloak is healed. Instead of the woman’s hand I see it as my hand from my Point of View and I always feel immediately comforted.

Here is the Passage:

While Jesus was traveling to Jairus’ house, a sick woman in the crowd touched his cloak. The woman had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked: “Who touched my clothes?” 

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.

He said to her:”Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” 

The conundrum I always have with this passage: is it the strength of the woman’s belief that healed her or was it that she recognized that true healing could only come from Christ?  Amy and I are always reminded of that conundrum with every hic-cup we experience with this disease. We always conclude that the point is to “reach out” to the true source of healing (Christ).  Something that is powerful about the passage that is often over looked is the fact that due to her illness she was deemed “Unclean” so anyone who knew about her illness would shun her. She couldn’t go about in society and mingle in the marketplace with the other women, since a touch from her would make someone else “unclean”. She couldn’t attend ceremonial occasions etc so she resorts to secrecy. She comes incognito, her condition carefully concealed. But comes also with determination. She doesn’t want to confront Christ in public. She is too ashamed to admit the nature of her illness.

To reach Christ she must push and shove and elbow her way between people. She is weak, drained, and yet she will not give up. She must reach him, and so she continues to wedge her body through the crowd until she comes up behind him. She has decided in her heart, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed” . She must do this without revealing anything. But she must touch him. She must.

What I love about this passage, obviously, is the woman’s faith. It is a pushy faith. I’m not talking an imposing shove it down your throat faith (that’s not the Gospel) but rather An elbow-my-way and don’t-take-no-for-an-answer faith. It is a faith that doesn’t quit. And it’s obvious that Jesus, was pleased.

This devotional is ultimately about choosing to live with courageous faith and that is what I would ask from you for today in your prayer time. I ask that you ask God to send his spirit of comfort and affirmation and courage so that I may “reach out” and rely on his power. I’ve already found myself being too concerned about what I’m eating and when I go to bed and making sure I manage stress and breathe which are all great things to focus on, but I believe that they are ultimately all distractions and like Bruce Wayne they are my safety rope.

Day 1 (For Good Vibers):

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”  ~C.S. Lewis

Do you struggle with courage? We each have our breaking points right? When I was a kid, I thought losing a parent would be the worst thing that I could imagine having to go through. It definitely sucks but I got through the other side after my dad passed away. After that, I used to think that the worst thing ever would be getting cheated on but when an ex-girlfriend did that, I actually got over it pretty quickly. Brain Surgery and Cancer moved up the list and I’ve conquered that fear as well. The only thing that scares me really is being buried alive and I don’t really see any need to test that one out. In fact it’s quite morbid actually to even bring that up ; ). As you send me good vibes today, I encourage you to do a couple things. First, think about some things that used to scare you, that no longer do and pat yourself on the back for being able to conquer that fear. That alone proves that you have courage, so think about some things that scare you now, (it doesn’t have to be crazy things) think about things that you procrastinate on or don’t take seriously that you know you should no longer ignore and remember that you’ve proven to yourself that you possess courage. There is nothing stopping you from being what you aspire to be.

Feeling blessed to have you on my team,

Alex

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