THE MIRACLE OF HEALING
Hal Pepinsky, email@example.com, “peacemaking” at pepinsky.blogspot.com
February 15, 2014
On NPR Thursday, I happened to hear a church historian report that all the 400 folks, including a Spanish married Jew, who were canonized saints from the 17th-20th centuries had one miracle in common: Out of the blue, commonly at their own versions of moments of prayer abruptly became healty, attempts of the most skilled doctors at the time to cure their disabling or life-threatening ailments.
I had just had my own miracle at the Laurels of Worthington nursing home, singing on the sun porch, the sun behind me, facing the door to my late mom’s bed. I described it in yesterday’s blog post. Gradually, my whole body is falling into place. I struggled to adjust the angle of my head to make out the numbers to pass the vision test when I renewed my driver’s license January 17. I only do vision tests at license renewal time, and for twenty years I have gone in apprehensive that I would come out required to get corrective lenses. I would estimate my vision now (I have also tested myself on vision charts in doctors’ offices while waiting, and can gauge pretty well) to be roughly 20/50. Without elaborating, my entire insides have suddenly become “normal” with two exceptions: The skin on the back of my right hand and from the bridge of my nose from where my sinuses emerge (I got out of the military draft in 1970 for chronic, incurable hayfever), down around my mouth to my chin. I believe the injury that my spine down the line has been compensating for until Thursday was to that my first cervical vertebra got twisted when I began wrestling (I practiced bridging constantly, even down in my room, as my defense against my specialty—holding out nonviolently without getting pinned before the round ended. The vertebra tilted and lodged against my skull on the right back corner. The major compensation was the lumber vertebra parallel to my liver, and I had chronic colitis from mid-teenage.
Slowly, in widening circles radiating from that lumbar vertebra, manifestations of my spine’s bends and twists began to disappear. The first accumulated waste to go left my bowels. The major trauma holding the whole crooked house of vertebrae was the shoulder joint, which explains why my right hand, which is almost completely healed, and my face, which is making progress, together with the mildest head cold I can remember that is clearing itself out of my sinuses and bronchiae leaving clearer than ever as well.
I’m healing from chronic rather than acute illnesses, but otherwise, it seems to me that my communion with my mom last Thursday has the same qualities and results as the folks who were canonized. The difference between the church and me is that I think miracles like ours are perfectly natural, fitting the latest “scientific” discoveries perfectly. It is because the God I believe to be the force of love, connection and material form is invited that we ALLOW these miracles to occur at unforeseen moments that make them all the more miraculous. I have long supposed that the more the side of me that listens rather than talks becomes flexible with use and appreciation, the more freely flowing the force that seeks to be with us becomes, the higher the voltage that flows (I\in my case, I just felt stunned as though my body were a huge electric capacitor storing and storing and storing it and building the wattage contained within me), so that when cascades of happy coincidences kept happening to me, I’d go out in the back yard, look up at the sky and say out loud, “Come on God, give me a break.”
The fact that I am given bundles of opportunities to try to make peace with and among others doesn’t make me know enough to tell anyone but myself what to do about “it.” Navajo culture, not the Bible, teaches me it is God’s will that I know my humanity well enough never to preserve I know what anyone but myself ought to do about a social problem. It is God’s will that the rest be left up to discussion by those whose own butts are most on the line. I believe it to be God’s will that I do not seek to determine or assign responsibility, let alone guilt about what anyone has done. I don’t want defensiveness getting in the way when I ask an “offender,” let alone a victim to look the other party straight out and to be honest and open about what really is first and foremost on her or his mind, let alone anyone talking about me to think I’ll retaliate if I find out what s/he said.
I postulate that God is perfectly practical about the results we get when we try to gain control of our relations, which is why for instance why stock markets crash harder the harder stockbrokers work (for God’s greater glory?...as Max Weber called the spirit of capitalism) to “grow” the economy. I’m no prophet of what people want to do, let alone what they do as a consequence. It is God’s will that we try to enable one another freely to ASSUME responsibility for using what skills, experience and interests they have to bring toward one another themselves and others who are estranged, from couples to US officials and “terrorists.” The kind of humility I believe the God of love calls for is not to presume that I know what is good for anyone but myself. On the other hand, I think God is pleased when I speak out freely, sometimes even loudly, in defense of myself and others. I believe God wants me to have my say, knowing I am never entitled to get my way. My belief in God rests on what my mother assured me when she sent me off to Sunday school: God is love (Corinthians 13:4).
It is the power of the love I share with my mother and everyone present when I am singing at the laurels that accounts for my miracles. If that accounts for me, why not for the saints as well? Love and peace--hal