Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Work and Healing: Dispelling a Myth

But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "there are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day."

I could not help but wonder, as I read this passage, "If people are working, how can they come to be healed?" The woman in this story, ignored by the leader, had been locked in her pain for eighteen years. She "could not fully straighten herself." How was she going to work? How much longer should she wait for healing, especially from someone who has no interest in the women and men in his charge, much less the Spirit of God?

The story tells us something of our present times. Too often people in power, in an effort to protect what they think belongs to them, make mistakes about the nature of work and the reality of suffering. How often have we heard a politician or minister or some other talking head say, "If you are sick, get a job (or a better job) so you can go to the doctor to get better"? These may not be the exact words, but it is the intent of their logic.

People are inherently selfish, and will fight to protect what they believe belongs to them, instead of understanding that all we have comes from God, and that God's purpose for us is to love Him. And to love him, we must love others. John wrote, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." 

That "brother" includes the woman who has suffered for eighteen years coming to you on the day you have set aside for yourself.

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