As I have taken this first round of a rest-of-my-life safari, I have exclusively written from the ‘first person’ perspective, from the ‘I/my’ point of view. I have been telling my story, my experiences, and my reactions. That was the intent, so it is no surprise.
What it isn’t, though, is by any means the whole story. And I have made reference to Beloved, my stalwart strength in all this… I certainly could not have done this without her.
And of course, I have paid tribute to the medical professionals who made such excellent use of the tools of their trade to perform what I consider to be a whole series of miracles, procedures that were by-and-large unheard of as recently as 10 years ago, and not even imagined a generation ago. I am certainly fortunate to have been born now and not then, or I’d be coming close to the end, if not already past it, by now.
One group, though, has been largely omitted.
There is a story recounted in the biblical gospels of Matthew and Mark of an occasion where Jesus is in someone’s house, and a paralytic is brought to him by four friends carrying him on a mat. The story explains that Jesus forgives the man’s sins and subsequently heals him of his paralysis.
There is another story of the Roman centurion coming to Jesus to ask for healing for his sick servant. Jesus volunteers to go see the servant, but the centurion tells Him that won’t be necessary… a mere word from Jesus will be sufficient to heal the servant, and indeed that ends up being the case.
In both of those stories, healing takes place. Why? Well, in the case of the paralyzed man, “Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘Be encouraged, my child. Your sins are forgiven’ ” (Matt.9:2) In the case of the centurion’s servant, Jesus says “ ‘Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.’ And the young servant was healed that same hour.” (Matt 8:13)
So, did the paralyzed man’s efforts gain him Jesus’ healing? Did the servant’s? No. In both cases, the faith, hope, and prayers of others on their behalf was the cause. In both cases, it was the desires of the hearts of others that brought about the miracle so earnestly hoped for… even though there can be little doubt that this same desire would have been there for the persons affected.
And so it is with me. I have known from the beginning that there have been prayers offered on my behalf. There have in fact been times, especially more early on, when I was more sensitized to God’s activities surrounding me and that I actually physically felt the power of those prayers… inexplicable as that is even to me.
And there is no doubt in my mind that those prayers, much more than my own, have contributed to my current state of wellness. My own innate cynicism remains one of my worst enemies, and I fight it constantly. I pray for the ‘innocence of children’ to which Jesus directs me, but fall far short of it… and so it has been the prayers of so many of my friends and family, and of a great many I do not even know, that has brought me to this state of remission, of health and wellness, of stability, joy, and contentment, that I find myself revelling in today.
I have been remiss in not more generally acknowledging that reality. To those of you who read this who have been part of that cohort of prayer, please accept this as my apology, and also accept my most sincere thanks!