Healing & Grace

One of the many articles about the coronavirus and its management, posed the following question:

“What if you were about to face your worst enemy, of which you knew very little, and you had two options:

Either to run towards it, or to escape to buy yourself a bit of time to prepare. Which would you choose?”

Most of us would choose to buy ourselves a little time to prepare. And we do, and we have done. But then, life happens and we forget that’s what we’re doing. And then circumstances arise again and again for which we could have been better prepared and we think, “Next time I’ll do better,” or else, we think of ourselves as hopeless failures.

What is it that we are continually running away from? It is not our worst enemy, but it can feel like it.  It is fear and all that we are afraid of. It is our death, yes, but also our true life.

The threshold where we have to stand if we want to get any real work done, the honesty, the brutal honesty we must have with ourselves, is an edge we run from again and again. It is uncomfortable, unpredictable. It is death-defying and death-accepting. It is to follow Christ.

Right now it is springtime. It is also Passiontide and there is illness in the world; a world illness which requires a world-healing. This is causing people to hold still when they want to run.

We are not ready for death and resurrection. We do not feel worthy. Our hearts are empty; they are longing for the Spirit’s awakening. We can be overcome with grief, with our own failures and the hopelessness of it all.

It is  helpful to us to turn to the Gospel of John. Throughout this Gospel we are presented with the immediate and powerful effect of the presence of Christ. How he could heal even chronic conditions, how his Being brought about a vitality that one could call “Contagious Health!”

Today we have read chapter 6, the feeding of the multitude. Christ tells the disciples to have the people sit down in groups– in Greek, “prasiai,” which means literally “like flower beds,” or “beds of tulips.”

Right here we can feel the “lifting off” from the statement of fact which is happening on the earth and the vision picture John is revealing to us through this story. People are sitting in the grass like the flowers which arise from the “dead” every spring.

Christ raises the bread in thanksgiving; a foreshadowing of the Last Supper. The life forces which flow through Him are so abundant in this “Eucharist” event that every person feels satisfied. And there are still 12 baskets of fragments left over. Where are those abundant forces now?

Can we imagine that we are the multitudes? We are the ones who are continually fed by this inexhaustible source. Can we carry our awareness of Christ’s healing power into the world, to bear witness and to bring calm into the hearts and minds of our fellow travelers? This is the only world-healing there is: Love in great abundance.

The world pandemic has brought with it much fear and anxiety but it has brought much more in the way of pure grace. We needed something to stop the destructive direction in which we were headed. We needed a sea-change and lo, we are being lifted out of our routines and given a chance at a new way of being.

Here are some of the results of this higher wisdom:

The water and air are cleaner around the world.

Wall Street greed has been held in check.

Our government’s failings are in stark relief for all to see.

Many people have been given time to reflect, to be with their children, to play, to rest, to sing, to write, to bring order into their lives.

There is time to be in nature and make a relationship with her, which is the only way to heal the earth.

There is time for meditation and prayer.

There is time to help others who are afflicted.

Something had to bring us to this place. While there is great sorrow for the many lives lost, the grief and the suffering, there is also grace. May we take this to heart. When the danger passes, may we create new ways to live on earth and be a part of the world-healing in Christ. Let us spread contagious health!

by Carol Kelly

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