Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pilgrimage and Healing

 1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  
John 5: 1-6

There is great confusion between the concepts of healing and cure. Cure is analogous to the extraction of the trapped Chilean miners. We like cures, but what we know is that the Chilean miners continue to suffer even though they are alive. How will the trauma they have sustained be redeemed? Will it come from more attention? Will it come from a pilgrimage?

The turmoil in the Middle East is overshadowing the story of the Chilean miners, “Pilgrimage of Thanks”. Here are the reports in the media:

What have we learned? We love cures but healing is a larger idea. Pilgrimage is a good description of the journey that at its core is a metaphor for healing. Healing takes time and we are impatient and look to a quick technical response.

But is pilgrimage more than a metaphor? Maybe artifacts of the historic faith that was a gift to the miners will give them new strength. Maybe a Jewish prayer shawl will bring healing. Maybe it will happen quietly in the broken spirits of these men. What we should pray for is that the faith that we saw in the lives of the miners will continue to be a witness of their continued pilgrimage of healing to a world in chaos.

p.s. See the prior post “An International Healing Parable” – October 31, 2I010

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