Support the Café
Search our site

Speaking to the Soul: Christ the Healer

Speaking to the Soul: Christ the Healer

When Jesus became aware of this, he departed.  Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known.  This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:  ‘Here is my servant, whom I have  chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.

~Matthew 12:15-18

In the dark before sunrise I sit in my studio and listen to the beating of my heart and to my breathing. That I breathe and am nourished thereby is a miracle. My lungs expand, and the air of the room is suddenly within me. Wow. My heart pumps blood that meets this air, exchanging the molecules of gas it carries for new ones. It then distributes the new molecules throughout my entire body, feeding all the cells along the way, even to the tips of my toes.

When the blood pumps back to my lungs it is full of waste, which it exchanges for new, nourishing molecules. Incredibly the waste goes out into my lungs again, into the air which is expelled, and back into the room. This air could not nourish me any more, but amazingly all the plants around me breathe my waste voraciously. It is rich in the molecules that nourish all their cells. And when these plants breathe, marvelously, they transform the air again. The waste that emerges from their cells  is once again rich in what nourishes me. Astounding.

Our sciences cannot explain this miracle of breath. They can describe it in greater and greater detail, and they do. We can learn about the exact process by which oxygen is freed from the air and replaced with carbon dioxide in our lungs. We can understand which nerve impulses cause the muscles around the lungs to expand and contract. We can describe how the brain functions as our cerebral cortex alternately seizes control of the rhythm of our breaths and then lets it go so that deeper centers take over. We can say how many plants there would need to be in a completely sealed room so that both plants and a human could continue to be able to breathe in a healthy way. We can even mimic many of the processes involved. But all of this, every bit of our science, only describes what is true. The fact that it happens at all remains an awe-inspiring wonder.

Such incredible surprises as a pumping heart and functioning lungs are just a small slice of the marvel of being alive. I think about the cut I got on my finger yesterday when a very sharp knife went flying and I instinctively reached out to catch it. The soft pad of my ring finger was deeply pierced, and for awhile it bled. I helped the healing by wrapping it tightly with a bandage so that the edges of the cut were together. But the miracle was that the bleeding did stop and the flesh, through no agency of my own, began to knit itself back together from the inside out. Today it still hurts a little, but it is well on its way to becoming whole once more. Mind blowing!

Is it any wonder that the Messiah, the promised Savior, is a healer? The incarnate Creator, author of miracle, what else could he be?

All people who are oppressed look for a Savior who is a warrior, someone who will come with great might and avenge the world’s wrongs. We look for justice in warfare. But, truth be told, any bozo can cause pain and death; that’s easy. But only the author of the miracle of breath and of heartbeats can cause healing and life. True justice comes through the thriving of all living beings.

The agents of God are peacemakers, healers, those who long to transform fear and pain into hope and wholeness. When we act in concert with the impulse of God that dwells in our hearts we move to help cure what is broken. Being part of the Body of Christ, the presence of the Messiah on the planet, means comforting, feeding, helping and nourishing. It means being part of the miracle of life-giving breath and heartbeats that is Christ alive and active in the world.


 

Laurie Gudim is a writer and religious iconographer who lives in Fort Collins, CO.  You can view some of her work at Everyday Mysteries.

 

Image: Christ the Healer, by Mary Katsilometes used with permission.

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Taylor

A Mathematician said that it wasn't possible to understand mathematics, you can only become familiar with it.
This idea and limitation, seems as though it can be applied more broadly. Thus, becoming familiar with a religious pronouncement is about as far as you can go. Nevertheless it is a good basis, a road, leading to an understanding of faith.
Remember Job and his ridiculing of the idea that we can understanf everything.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café