Monday, September 5, 2011

A Right Mind

Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
Mark 5:14-17(NIV)
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
2 John 1:3 (NIV)

“Dr. Gregory House” has become an iconic mythical figure in our culture.  He is not just a physician; he is a teacher.   He is looking for the “right diagnosis” but there is something “deeply wrong” with Dr House!   What should we call it?  What is your diagnosis?
What is fearful for all of us is the origin or etiology of the pain we see either in others or what we feel.   We look for words and names but more importantly we look for relief and if that doesn’t work we try to escape!   So like the incident in Mark, we are fascinated and yet fearful of what we see in “Dr. House” keeps us coming back but we wouldn’t want Dr. House to be either our physician or teacher.   The reality is that “IT” is more than pain, it is suffering!  “Suffering”, like birth, death and taxes, is what we all face.   Sometimes we give “IT” other names, but it is what we all confront!  
Dr. House, the residents and the patients are all suffering and looking for healing!  Dr. House’s strategy is a Socratic search for the truth with technology with clinical results that at best could be described as complicated.  The Mark account takes another approach and describes that healing looks like that is summarized by the phrase, “a right mind”.   This person who had no name, was physically and emotionally suffering now has a new life.  The problem is that even this good result makes the community nervous.  The community doesn’t want the healer to be around despite the “good outcome”.   
The “right mind” outcome is a gift of a peaceful and “purpose driven” life.  It has direction and seeks a shared truth and peace that is based in a extravagant Love that we call Grace.  Like the Mark account we still would rather pretend that we don’t need healing despite the suffering that we feel and see in this world.   It is a gift that we too often reject and or don’t share.  The good news is there are those in the world who are equipping healing agents and calling us to action.  Sometimes that looks like a Camp Geneva or a web site called the “The Peace Plan”.  

“A Right Mind” Dr. Laura Smit’s sermon title at Camp Geneva Worship Service August 28,  2011, Holland, Michigan
House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies  Edited by Henry Jacoby  John Wiley & Sons (2009)

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