Many weeks ago, reliably assured of a UK heatwave, my husband and I agreed that the week just gone would be the best one to rest from all work duties.
The only hard decision to be made that week would be “North Coast or South Coast today, dear?”
We largely kept to our plan, shunning the weather’s best efforts to thwart us, and were very impressed by the many visitors we met along the way sporting their beach gear, buckets, spades, raincoats, and brollies.
One cloudy day, we settled on a cliff walk and quickly discovered that our fitness and joints were not as resilient as we had hoped. His neck, my ankles, his shoulders, my knees, his back, my acid re-flux, his puffing uphill, my need for a hand on steep descents.
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes…the titular song from my childhood took on a whole new meaning!
We met many people along the way, sharing and comparing stories of lumps, bumps, recent surgeries, and general decrepitude...we could have formed a choir.
Chastened, I happened to read the story of ten lepers, healed by Jesus in the book of Luke this morning. All ten, social distance in place, begged Jesus to help them.
It would appear that they didn’t immediately receive healing. Jesus told them to go and be examined by the priests, as was the law, that they may be declared free from leprosy and all its taboos. Scripture says that they were healed on their way to do just that.
They walked off their leprosy and stepped into their healing.
What if, rather than holding a moaning meeting on the South West Coast path, my husband and I had instead held a healing meeting in the name of Jesus, declaring His goodness and desire that all would be healed?
Sometimes it is easier to accept the ravages of age than to exert the faith to believe Jesus for healing. Note to self: ten lepers, all with fingers and toes rotting and dropping, believed that Jesus could heal them.
Interestingly, the only leper who came back to say thank-you to Jesus was a Samaritan, a foreigner. All ten leprous bodies were healed, but scripture says that only the grateful one received both salvation and healing (The Passion Translation).
I was in Liskeard the other day when I was approached on the street by a lovely gentleman from St Martin’s Church and asked if I wanted prayer. Yessssss, I enthusiastically agreed, and he and his brothers in Christ prayed for me on the street. It was wonderful. I felt very blessed.
Again, this time on Summerleaze Beach, Bude, I was chatting to the Beach Pastors, in particular a lady from Bude Methodist Church, trekking along a crowded beach, ready to support people who had need.
This is living out the Christian faith. Jesus didn’t force people to listen to Him, He simply healed people, set them free and answered their questions. Come on Church, let’s do it!
God is absolutely good, come rain or shine.