Note: Filings will be an ongoing section of this blog where the posts focus specifically on issues of Christian life. The name comes about because “filings” are the natural by-product of Proverbs 27:17: “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Sunday service was just coming to a close when a migraine headache jabbed a greasy thumb into my eyes. Over the years I’ve come to know this partial blindness, and its accompanying light show when I close my eyes, as the precursor to the main event and the warning that I’ve got about 20 minutes to get to my prescription medication.
That’s not hard to do since I usually keep my pills in my briefcase and keep my briefcase in close proximity in much the same way as the president keeps the nuclear “football” nearby. In a way, my pills are kind of a nuclear option themselves since, while they’re very effective in returning my eyesight and blocking pain, I know the tradeoff is going to be about six hours of feeling comfy but completely wiped out and listless.
This time I stopped as I fished the bottle out. We had sung that day of God’s faithfulness, His desire and ability to heal. The teaching had included 2 Corinthians 4:7 about our treasure being in earthen vessels (ourselves) so that the excellency of God’s power can be seen to be of him and not us. I believed those words, or did I? I turned to see our pastor still collecting himself on the podium. I told him what was happening and without hesitation he took hold of me and began to pray. I don’t remember much of the words he used as I focused on the sensation I felt in my stomach and the light show on my eyelids. As he prayed, the lights – as usual a pretty blue and yellow Aztec pattern – began to diminish, then flare, then diminish to a short thin line. When I opened my eyes after “Amen” the blind spots had moved to the periphery of my vision. By the time I got out to the parking lot they were completely gone. No headache, no nausea, no pills.
This was great, I was elated, but now I had a new problem. Driving home it occurred to me that I should post what had happened on my blog. I don’t use the word “Ack!” a lot, but I’m pretty sure that was the first thing that came into my head after the blogging thought. After all, I thought, I’m trying to establish my voice and credibility in a fledgling blog scarcely two weeks old. While a good blog shouldn’t be afraid to rattle people’s doctrines or challenge their perspective (in fact, that might be the whole point) did I really want to go so far “out there” so soon? I mean, if I wrote about a healing I’d experienced today, some might think I’d write about handling snakes tomorrow. At the same time, this was something very meaningful to me, and if you can’t blog on what’s meaningful in your life then the rest of your posts become meaningless.
I tussled with the idea a bit and set it aside. It gradually began to seep into me, however, that my reaction was more about me and my fear of what others would think of me. As a blogger, that kind of thinking is crippling; as a Christian it is deadly. Before I started this blog I went back and forth for a long time over whether or not to begin. My concern was that I would be giving in to a desire to glorify myself (even if I got just half a dozen readers a day). Early on I even wrote out a question to myself asking how I would judge whether this blog was a success or not. I thought I had nobly come up with the answer that this would be a success if I could show not how clever I am (ok, not just how clever I am), but how God and Jesus Christ could be part of a normal life and influence the way I looked at myself and interacted with my family, my church and the world around me. And here was my first test. Don’t you just hate pop quizzes?
Well, the lepers Jesus healed didn’t just say “thank you” and walk off in a dignified manner worried about what people were going to say about them. So here it is. I don’t know what I’m going to write about tomorrow, but I can assure you that it won’t be about handling snakes.