February 2009


Before we left Texas, our lifegroup was studying Luke.  We were nearing the end of the book when we left, and arrived in France to find the team here had just started studying it.  Ironic, yes, that out of 66 possibilities we walk out of the end of one…right into its beginning.  Fortunately Luke happens to be my favorite gospel, I think, so I am not too discouraged at the thought of repetition.

I have been noticing something this time around – a small something, to be sure, but a repeated theme nonetheless, and that is the completeness with which Jesus works.  Observe: Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law in chapter 4, and she immediately pops up to serve her guests.  Jesus didn’t just make the fever go away, leaving the woman weak from the high fever and recuperating for days; His healing included fully restored health, as if she had never been sick.

Then you get to chapter 5.  There is a small story of Jesus healing a leper, and though it is a small story it has become one of my favorites about Jesus.  I like the leper, how he approaches Jesus: “I know you CAN heal me, but I also know you don’t have to” – and I like Jesus’ response.  He doesn’t just wave the request off as being so easy to fill it’s not even worth mentioning, an instantaneous deed He can pull off as easy as breathing.  He touches the leper, a man who had likely not been touched for a very long time, and says, in one translation, “I want to” and in another, “My heart desires it.”   And just like that, at His touch, the man was healed.  Leprosy basically kills nerves, and so your skin flakes off and you eventually lose toes, fingers, your nose…Jesus doesn’t just stop the disease’s progress, but restores full health: toes and fingers repaired, skin healthy and smooth, with no scars.  (In the interest of accuracy, I admit that the text does not specify that the man was missing toes and received them back at Jesus’ touch. I am basing this assumption on the facts of how leprosy works and also that the man could hardly convince the priests he was no longer contagious if he was still sporting the damage.)

Next you have the story of the paralytic, lowered down through a roof by his friends.   When Jesus heals him, he doesn’t just remove the paralysis and leave the guy with weak, atrophied limbs – the man has full strength.   He’s able to walk with no problem and carries his mat, too.   This is another thing not specified but I imagine he was probably not just strolling home; he was probably hopping, skipping, running – along with his friends.   Once again there’s no recuperation period, no rehab to be done.  On and on the stories go, Jesus gracing those who need it with complete healing – not just preventing further damage but erasing what looked like permanent damage.  He leaves them as though physically no damage had ever been done, but forever changed knowing the pit of despair their life had been, could have been.  And what’s really great is that He still works the same way.

“I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten…” Joel 2:25

I have never been a good sleeper.  I mean NEVER.  My mom claims that, as a baby, I never slept for more than 20 minutes.  Of course they found out 6 weeks into my life that I was lactose intolerant, which is a big problem for a person on a steady diet of milk.  I assume that after switching to a soy formula I could sleep longer than a catnap, but who knows.  I do remember, even in first grade at age 6, having trouble falling asleep and waking up really early.  I usually sleep fairly lightly, and I am always, always tired – I just have trouble actually sleeping.

Enter volets.  Volets are shades that roll down over your window, and the one over our bedroom window makes the place PITCH. BLACK.  Which is great, because utter darkness is one of the conditions required for a refreshing, restful night’s sleep for me.  (A Breathe-Right strip is another*, and another would be a cool room and warm bed, but that is not the point of this post.)  This morning I slept until nearly noon, which is by far a record for me.  And I’ve felt pretty good today.  This volet thing could be a lifesaver.

*I have a sinus condition.  So sue me.