It’s not that I don’t believe, I do. It’s just that I doubt too. As a scientist and doctor, I’m inclined to doubt, especially when it comes to miracles and healing.
Surely, no one experiences Holy Week and is immune to the mystical relevance of life after death, a crucifixion that ends in resurrection. Flashes of light energy run through your body when the congregation rises and sings Up From the Grave He Arose.
I’m looking for new birth, how about you? How can Christians declare faith and dedication to our living Lord and fear death for ourselves? Where does belief in miracles begin and where does it screech to a halt? How is it easier to believe that a human being arose after being hung on a cross for a day, stabbed with a sword and given vinegar to drink, taken down and swathed in linens for a crypt, and buried for dead than that my cancer will be eradicated? Not by medical treatments but by miraculous healing. Or both together at the same time. Of course if Jesus healed the woman who bled, she had only to touch his robe for it to happen, then Jesus can touch my robe too.
Why did Mary doubt, days later, when she went to the garden to visit Him and found the stone rolled away, the body gone? A gardener, Jesus, watching as she wept, asking “Where have they taken him?” “
And where are they taking me?” I’m sure I don’t want to go there some days and then some days I think that perhaps it will be fun. Maybe death is the ultimate travel except you don’t need a passport or a ticket. Any destination is fair game and getting there is cheap. Yet if I backup once again, how can I believe Christ’s story and not my own?
Like Momma, I don’t want to live at half mast, diminished by a renegade cell that takes over my body and establishes it’s dominance. I don’t want that for myself or my family. I’d rather go out in a flame, a burst. Marcus Aurelius plainly states “What springs from earth dissolves to earth again, and heaven-born things fly to their native seat.” I’ve known since I was a wee girl that I was heaven-born and in some ways have longed for heaven since then.
God loves me every day whether he heals me physically. Miracles are based on principles of the Universe and not on my belief for or against. Thank heaven. But as for me and my house, we believe. Believe that I’ll fish with my grandchildren by the creek, be with my daughter in labour and delivery, hold my husband’s hand on his 80 birthday and sing that sweet song once more.
Remember the 91st Psalm? The psalm you’ve been reciting for me this year. “With long life will I satisfy Him and show Him my salvation.” Stand firm, Julia, He says to me everyday, “for I have chosen you and have not rejected you… do not fear, for I am with you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9,10
And so living brings the beauty of spring to my senses in a unique way, green leaves unravelling slowly, birds singing loudly and insistently- listen here, listen now. A sparrow sits on three eggs in a planter just outside the front door. Japanese maples’ red curls seize my heart and squeeze gently in a place I didn’t know existed. And I am in awe, not as concerned about how long I will live as that I was privileged to live here in the beginning.