We had been in the ER since 3:00 a.m. The nurse had called, from my brother-in-law’s cell phone, to tell us he had been in a head-on collision (we found out later the other drive had been drunk.) We got dressed in a daze and raced to the hospital. Luke was relatively okay, except for a face full of minor glass lacerations and a horrible ankle break. We thanked the Lord he was alive.
Seven hours later, I was standing outside of the entrance to the emergency room, getting some fresh air and letting the sun hit my face. An older lady pulled up in front of me, and I could see another older lady in the passenger seat. Poking her head out the driver-side window, she said, “Do you know where the parking for the emergency room is?” I could see the same kind of hurried, anxious expression on her face that I had worn in the middle of the night.
“It’s over there,” I said, pointing to the parking lot.
“Thank you,” she said.
So much sickness and pain, I thought to myself. The movement in and out of the hospital never stopped. Nurses came for the day shift. Across the way I could see men working around the life-flight helicopter.
Our bodies are fragile.
My brother-in-law had his second ankle surgery yesterday, and it is going to be a long recovery. Last night I went to visit my mother-in-law, who is laid up with horrible nerve pain in her leg. While I was there, her friends from Helena were visiting. Their son Face Timed -the son who has been undergoing treatment for a brain tumor.
And what about me? “Can you tell me if this is right?” one of my students said yesterday. “Ummm, I can’t actually read what you’ve written,” I said. These eyes are almost 50 years old, but I refuse to use the word bifocals.
I’ve been reading through the gospels in my Spanish Bible, and I see that if Jesus stops anywhere for three seconds people swarm around him, hoping to be healed.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases… (Mark 1:32 NIV)
The whole town gathered at Jesus’ door, and I say to you that we are that whole town. So many of us struggle with our health -whether it’s broken bones or cancer or something as simple as miserable spring allergies or dry skin.
The whole town is sick. Our bodies, even if we take great care of them, are wasting away.
So we need to take care of our bodies but not love them too much. And we need a great hope that we are going to be able to trade in these decaying bodies for brand new ones some day.
So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body… (1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NIV)
If you don’t feel good today, I’m sorry. I pray the Lord will heal you, if he wills it. And I pray you will be encouraged to hold on, because new bodies are coming -glorious new bodies that will not wear out. No more ER rooms or pain medicines. No more springtime allergies or arthritis that flares up on cold days. No more stubbed toes in the dark. We just have to hold on.