Very close to one year ago, I committed to writing two blogs a week. Since that time, I have not missed a single post-date, at least without prior warning being given. Until last week. But listen, I have like, a really good excuse:
I was writhing on my bed in agony. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not talking about some weak little, “Ow, my exposed nerve just got crushed between a ball of foil and my metal filling” type wincing, I mean honest to goodness writhing. Let’s go back a little.
Often times, when I’m getting up for work I’ll choose to sleep a little longer in favor of washing my hair in the sink as opposed to taking a full fledged shower. Unfortunately, the distance between the faucet and the sink in our bathroom is considerably smaller than the distance between one side of my head to the other. This means that often I’m simply trying to slather my hair in water prior to shampooing. It was one such motion that led to my ear going directly beneath the faucet for a moment and knowing instantly that water had gotten too deep. I had the dreaded “Swimmer’s Ear” and without the actual act of swimming. I tilted my head for a few moments, didn’t hear that weird watery sound in my ear and assumed all was well.
Cut to: Thursday afternoon, writhing on the bed. Apparently, I did not get all the water out of my ear. Also apparently, some bacteria were thrilled by this notion and proceeded to turn my ear canal into party central. The net result was that said canal swelled shut and trapped the fun-loving bacteria deep within the confines of my head. I had the ear infection to end all ear infections.
Which, brings us to this post. During my fleeting moments of consciousness as I laid in bed for over thirty-six hours, I found myself thinking about miracles, or more specifically, spontaneous healing. The Bible is rife with examples of God and Jesus (and Co.) doing extraordinary things. Water from rocks, the sun stopping in the sky, healings, healings, healings, and the occasional dead person brought back to life. And then, as if to sum it all up, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”
And yet… It doesn’t seem like that’s necessarily the case… Certainly not here in America. I’ve been in the Church my entire life and have never witnessed a miracle or something extraordinary. Why?
I’m not sure I can really give you an answer. Certainly not one that smarter people than myself haven’t already considered. But as the pain killers slowly swept my brain down a lazy river of strange images and weird run-on thoughts, I decided to try an experiment. I was going to pray to be healed. For science. And also, writhing was beginning to get a little boring.
My first attempt was a simple but sincere head-prayer. Something along the lines of, “Aaaaaah, Holy God in Heaven, please make this stop hurting. The result? No change. I decided that perhaps I was walking a little too narrowly on the line of sacrilege, so I toned it down a bit: Dear God, please heal me.” My ear throbbed in reply.
Okay. I vaguely recalled something about one of those old religion-y words, “Dominion”, and perhaps in order for God to become manifest on the same plain as us, we had to actually speak the words out loud. So, in between my manly little squeals of pain, I squeaked out, “God, please heal me.”
Still nothing. This was going to be tricky.
My mind went adrift once again on the sea of prescription drugs, and I found myself diverted by a particularly interesting train of thought regarding whether or not you could shoot a bullet into a tube, and then spin the tube in order to make the bullet change direction. Eventually, the medicinal haze lifted and suddenly it seemed I had moved on to step three of my experiment.
Faith. Faith was always such a big deal. You really had to believe that God was going to heal you. And this is where part of my brain got tripped up, maybe you guys can help me out… I absolutely, 100 percent believe that God can do anything. He can heal me, fix me, turn me into a penguin. I believe God is all-powerful. Where it got sticky, was when I asked myself, “Do I believe that God will heal me?”
The idea of saying that God will do anything with any sense of certainty is something I’ve never been able to do. Who the heck am I to say what God will or will not do? How should I know? It seems like the largest presumption in the world to decide that I’m going to believe God is going to do anything with his express written agreement. Still though, I tried…
“Dear God, I believe you can heal me. And… I… think? you will? maybe? uhm… please?” Surely, if ever there were a prayer that should be written down and memorized by saints of the ages, that was the one. Shockingly, still no change in the ear-feeling-like-it’s-about-explode category.
Maybe… It was an old skool problem? Maybe God wasn’t responding because there was some long-forgotten sin I never sought forgiveness for? I couldn’t think of anything particularly salacious, but then again, I couldn’t really remember much of anything prior to about fifteen seconds to any given moment while on my medication.
“Dear God… if… I’ve done something wrong, I’m sorry. I’m just doing my best. Forgive me if it’s not good enough. I need help. My ear really hurts. I totally believe you can fix this, if you want to. I’d really appreciate it if you did, but… if you don’t, no hard feelings. Amen.”
Not the fanciest prayer ever uttered by a mere mortal, but it was not without its charm. Still though, the pain persisted.
So now I’m asking you, oh readers of my blog… What’s the deal with prayer and miracles and healing? If God said we can do this stuff, why do we not see it all the time, everywhere? Can any of you offer a critique on my “scientific” method? Do you think I missed something? Is there a blatant reason my ear is still a little achy that I totally missed? I really want to hear your thoughts. Take like three seconds of your life and send me a sentence as a comment. (Or more, if you prefer.)