Monday, July 20, 2009

SYNCHRONICITY


I’ve always been an advocate of “synchronicity,” even before the publication of James Redfield’s THE CELESTINE PROPHECY. Happenings occur, and then trigger other happenings of a similar nature, and these synchronized events take place without any organization on our part –the process belongs among the mysteries – and miracles – of the universe. Yesterday, I delivered a sermon at St. Mary’s about the miracles and healings of Christ in the Gospel of Mark, and I ventured the opinion that people in the ancient world seemed more ready to believe in synchronistic happenings that revealed God’s power than we are today. I didn’t know that a few hours later, my own belief in healings would be challenged.

At noon yesterday, I talked on the telephone with an old friend in New Iberia who supervises an office manager, now dying of cancer, and she gave me a rather hopeless report about this medical case. In short, the doctors have removed the port that delivered medication for the cancer and now believe that the woman won’t recover. The story touched me deeply, and I began to think about the phrases that I had used in the sermon…”we, by our baptismal covenant, also have an earthly ministry bound up with the frail and feeble of body, mind, and soul…” “All of Christ’s healings show us that disease of soul or body is substandard living and I believe He meant to bring all of the people he touched back to full humanity…” “The Gospel is like a mirror where we’re not merely reflected, we’re also exposed…as people of prayer and healing…or not”…and, finally, “to be in solidarity with those who suffer also means to speak with and perhaps for them…to share in and express the healing power of his love through touch, through empathy, through cogent prayer…and in our co-inherence, our sharing in a broken world’s suffering, we become carriers of our Lord’s healing grace…”

I delivered a lot of words with help from the Holy Spirit, the Anglican mystic Evelyn Underhill, and Louis Evely, but I hadn’t a notion that a few hours later, I’d receive this call about a dying woman in New Iberia. The miraculous part of this story is that I related the plight of the woman in New Iberia to my friend Vickie, and she happened to mention it in an e-mail requesting vitamins to a doctor who is a nutritionist and medical doctor practicing in a western state. ‘Turns out that the doctor has put aside a manuscript he was writing about heart disease and has been devoting all of his time to research about natural healing of cancer! He sent Vickie a plethora of information about the research being done and today, if the woman agrees to be treated, my friend has promised that she’ll raise funds to provide natural treatment for one of those “frail and feeble of body” of whom I spoke in yesterday’s sermon.

This morning as I read the e-mails being passed back and forth regarding the dying woman and the possible treatment, all the words in my sermon reverberated in my mind, especially those words: “to be in solidarity with those who suffer also means to speak with and for them…” It’s moving to experience happenings that reveal God’s power and to realize that you’ve proclaimed “The Word” as deacons are supposed to do, and then seen the words come alive. Challenge that mystery if you will, but I prefer to hope…and to be a “carrier.”

Note: The painting is another one rendered by my brother Paul.
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