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Life is like a box of chocolates

Monday, November 28, 2011

Matthew 8:8
The Roman centurion said to Jesus, “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Jesus reputation grew exponentially in the first days of his ministry. Sick people came to him from across at least two countries to be touched and healed. The Bible stories do not record disappointment; Jesus healed everyone who asked. This Roman general loved his servant, who was dying. The soldier knew the limits of his authority and didn’t hesitate to beg Jesus for his healing.

Matthew Henry points out that “humble souls are made more humble” in the presence of Christ’s grace. When I come to Jesus sincerely, he never makes me “smaller.” Instead I can grow in my own peace, my own humility, and therefore in my own strength. Being in the presence of Jesus is like being a “tree firmly planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1).

Margaret’s nephew died Saturday after a long and determined fight against fungal pneumonia. After a successful bone marrow transplant, hopes were high, but the pneumonia could not be overcome. He lived with his wife and daughter in the Seattle area, thousands of miles away. Margaret prayed for him every day. “Just say the word, Lord, and my nephew will be healed.”

What does she say to Jesus today? Do we know that Jesus weeps along with us over the death of her nephew? What does Margaret’s sister say, as she grieves the loss of her only son? Does she feel more whole in the presence of Jesus?

Death comes, and comes, and comes. Watch it: Births come even faster. I am surprised and troubled by change. I expect things to stay predictable and stable in my life. But this is not the way things are over any length of time.

In Hebrews, Jesus is described as the same, “yesterday, today and forever.” Life can’t stay the same. I can’t stay the same. But Jesus can. So I seek his persistent grace and mercy. To be made more humble in his love and presence. To be held by him every day of my life from birth till death. To be made whole.

Every breath I take, Lord, belongs to you. With each heartbeat, you love me. You love me now … and now … and now. And when my heart stops, you love me still.

Thanks to Richard Rohr in Everything Belongs for the “now … and now … and now.”

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