Last spring I injured my left foot three times within a three-month time span. Starting with an overextension in yoga, followed by a screen door gash, and finally a hyper-extended big toe. It was not a good season for my left foot.
I knew the injuries would take time to heal. So I waited, and waited. Over the months my foot healed from its various contusions and lacerations, mostly. I got along fine, mostly, even resuming yoga, not noticing I had altered my walking patterns to accommodate the occasional returning pain or discomfort. Until I my husband lovingly gave me a foot massage the other night. Within minutes I nearly jumped out of my seat from the pain shooting through my foot. I was keenly aware of how not healed my foot was in this moment. I made a doctor's appointment that week.
Today I went to meet my new doctor, honestly not expecting much. After a few routine questions, and examination, she about determined what was wrong: a damage to some nerve endings, followed by continued swelling from my foot's encounter with the corner of the screen door. Alone, she said, I probably would have healed fine and well of each. But together they were a little much for my body to process, and each kept me from fully healing. With treatment she thinks I have a great chance at full recover. Thankfully, she said, I didn't wait too long to come in and see her.
After I arrived home I noticed for the first time since all this hub-bub I was able to walk with full pressure on my foot. It was amazing. I felt relief enter from the top of my head to the bottom of my foot. It was like the tension I was unconsciously carrying drained from my being. I was literally at peace. Delight. Joy. Gratefulness.
Sitting in this contented state Jesus' healing the paralyzed man at the pool came to mind. Jesus literally asked the guy: "Do you want to get well?"
The man doesn't scream "YES!" with relief (which is what I picture on the flannel-graph in my mind). He tells Jesus why he hasn't already been healed. I almost wonder if the guy felt like he'd been caught for being there for so long (38-years, John 5 tells us) -- maybe even feeling like Jesus was accusing him of taking up too much space. And from the continuing conversation (Jesus completely healed him on the spot), Jesus was not accusing him, but simply asking if he wanted to be healed. It seems like such an obvious answer, but in my experience it's often not.
My foot is a simple example of just that reality -- I've been limping along for nearly a year, thinking it wasn't a big enough deal to get help with, doubting help or relief could truly even come. I never asked Jesus to heal my foot. If he'd asked me, I probably would have sounded a lot like the paralytic. Thankfully Jesus took me by the hand and led me to the beginning of my healing. Then I started to think of all the other times I've never bothered to ask Jesus for healing, in relationships, in difficult feelings, in trying circumstances.
What about you?
Feel free to journal your responses in your prayer time, or reflect briefly here on the blog in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you.
Jesus, grant us the grace by your mercy to hear your question. Give us the courage to respond.