I volunteer as a hospital chaplain.
Over the years I have been in a bunch of hospitals… visiting a bunch of folks. One thing I have never heard is a person who wanted, enjoyed, or otherwise planned to be admitted to the hospital. It is almost always unexpected, undesired, and unwelcomed.
But, isn’t the ‘hospital’ where people go to get better? Yes. But, that is a hard process. It usually means facing the fact that we are sick, mortal, and vulnerable. It usually means we cannot continue the lifestyle we lived before we ‘went in’. That’s hard because we come face to face with the fact that, in many ways, we don’t have the control over our lives and health that we thought we had.
The same is true in the life of faith. When confronted with the people and places that offer us a chance at spiritual ‘health’ or ‘recovery’… we become afraid, angry, upset, scared, or otherwise resistant to it. Why? The same reasons apply. We don’t like to learn the truth about our fragile lives: we don’t have control over everything, we don’t have it all together, we don’t have the best habits, practices, and lifestyles. When we come face to face with this in our ‘spiritual’ life we are likely to treat the experience as unexpected, undesired, and unwelcomed.
Jesus faced a lot of opposition as he revealed people’s need for healing. In his defense against the religious leaders of his day (when asked why he kept company with those who were most broken) he said (Matthew 9:12):
Those who are well have no need of a physician, rather those who are sick [do].
For those who were touched by his teaching and healing, there was a powerful realization: facing our illnesses and weakness with God on our side really tips the balance in our favor.
We have an opportunity to be healed.
Let’s take him up on it