Tag Archives: faith

Touch

Do you remember the story of the  woman who came up to Jesus in a crowd and touched him?*

Now because of her medical condition, this woman should not even been aloowed out in public – according to the law of her day

And it was certainly against the law of her time for her to touch anyone. That did not matter to Jesus, and, obviously, that did not matter to the woman. Jesus used the same words with the woman as he used with other healed persons: “Your faith has made you well”

There is however the interesting reversal of the direction of the action in this healing story. Many times Jesus touched others. Here, another person touches Jesus. The initiation of the healing process is backwards, but it works anyway. Her faith made her well. Her faith saved her. She, like all the others who were healed, went in peace and she was healed. As the old King James Bible put it, she was “made whole.”

How strange it is that Jesus’ healing touch and healing presence worked as well in reverse as in drive!

Touch is so important in healing, and yet how sensitive many people are to touch. Back in the 60’s and early 70’s there was a great deal of touching and hugging going on. Close community ties and a strong sense of togetherness marked the peace movement. “Make love, not war,” was a favourite chant of the times. Those were touchy-feely times in more ways than one.

The past two decades have nearly seen an end to touching. If a secretary is touched by her boss, she might file a sexual harassment charge against him. Teachers are told again and again not to touch the youngsters in their charge. There are good reasons for this, but when it comes to the point that a primary school teacher cannot hug one of her pupils when he or she has fallen in the playground and is crying in distress and pain, something is wrong.

It can be difficult sometimes – especially when so many of our actions can be misconstrued or misinterpreted.

When I was a Hospital Chaplain, I once came across an elderly female patient  in one of the four-bedded Infirmary wards.  This lady had something wrong with her leg – that’s why she was in hospital.  After chatting to her for a few minutes, she asked me to pray for her.  I put my hand on her shoulder, and said a brief prayer.  At the end of it, she thanked me for my words– but said ‘It would have been better though if you’d put your hand on my leg”

No way!

Why?

Because hugs and touchings of any kind, seem so out of place today in our litigious society.  Yet, if the touching stops, we must ask ourselves if the healing will also stop – if the wholeness will also stop – if the faith will also stop, and if we will no longer be able to find a way to go forth into this world in peace.

Healing, restoration, wholeness, both physical and spiritual, all are contained in the meaning of the words that Jesus spoke that day, but probably none of the above would have marked that day if someone had not reached out and touched someone else.

 

*  Mark 5:25-34

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

25 In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had gone to many doctors, and they had not done anything except cause her a lot of pain. She had paid them all the money she had. But instead of getting better, she only got worse.

27 The woman had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him in the crowd and barely touched his clothes. 28 She had said to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well.” 29 As soon as she touched them, her bleeding stopped, and she knew she was well.

30 At that moment Jesus felt power go out from him. He turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at all these people crowding around you! How can you ask who touched you?” 32 But Jesus turned to see who had touched him.

33 The woman knew what had happened to her. She came shaking with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. Then she told him the whole story.

34 Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain.”

 

270px-Healing_of_a_bleeding_women_Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb

Healing_of_a_bleeding_women_Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb

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Agnostic Cemetery

Agnostic Cemetery

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April 8, 2013 · 08:38

Dostoevsky

On cold December morning in Russia in 1849, 20 political prisoners were lined up to be shot by a firing squad.

However, just before the order was given, a message was delivered from Czar Nicholas I cancelling the executions.

Instead, the men were to serve ten years of hard labour in Siberia.

One of the prisoners was Feodor Dostoevsky  a young man whose mother had died when he was only 16 and whose father had been murdered a few years later.

When Dostoevsky got to Siberia, he found a copy of the New Testament and began to read it.  By the time he had finished, he was a firm believer.

Describing his impression of Christ, he wrote to a friend:

“No one is more beautiful… and more perfect than Christ…If anyone proved to me that Christ was outside of the truth…I would prefer to remain outside with Christ than inside with the truth.”

After his release from prison, Dostoevsky turned to writing novels.  In quick succession, he wrote such classics as ‘Crime and Punishment’ and ‘The Brothers Karamazov’

But success went to his head, and he began to drink and gamble heavily.  More than that, he set aside his faith.

Shortly before he died, however, Dostoevsky returned to the faith.  This irritated his atheistic friends who ridiculed him.  They said that this was just the sick act of a sick man.

Commenting on their mockery, Dostoevsky wrote in his diary:

“These fools could not even conceive so strong a denial of God as the one to which I gave expression….It is not like a child that I believe in Christ and confess him.  My hosanna has come forth from the crucible of doubt.”

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Unity – Rainbow

Unity - Rainbow

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January 27, 2013 · 09:24

Yet Another Oldie

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.

He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

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October 22, 2012 · 09:49

2 Timothy 4:2

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Faith

The Meenister’s Log

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

 Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure. Professor:

Is GOD all powerful ? Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

(Student was silent.)

Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

Student : Yes.

 Professor: Is satan good ?

 Student : No. Professor:

 Where does satan come from ?

Student : From … GOD …

 Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

 Student : Yes.

Professor: So who created evil ? (Student did not answer.)

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created them ?

(Student had no answer.)

Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

 Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

 Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student : Yes.

 Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

 Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.

 Student : No, sir. There isn’t. (The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

 Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it. (There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

 Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class was in uproar.)

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain? (The class broke out into laughter. )

 Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? (The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.

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