Road to Healing – Lenten Journey 2014
it was different. First the polite bow by the nurse, “How are you feeling, sir? Any pain?” Then they fumble around the IV tubes, cuff your arm. As your blood pressure is being taken, the nurse puts the plastic tip of the thermometer in your ear and one by one the readings are recorded. Temperature. Blood Pressure. Pulse. All systems are fine.
“I have some pain.”
“Just press the button, sir.”
You press the button and slowly you enter into a comfort zone. But today I was okay without the mix of narcotics into my drip. Even more, I knew that as some point I needed to wean myself off of the drugs. Let no one be fooled it’s tempting because it’s quick and effective. But today it’s over. I’m not pressing that button. I’m out of here.
I hear a voice, “Do you want to be healed?”
Yes! I do. No one else can make that decision but me. I want to be complete. I want to be whole.
Yes! I do… I am.
It was forty days ago that we took our first steps on this journey together, on the Road to Healing. We’ve encountered ideas, thoughts, faith, strength and courage along the way. We’ve explored love, God, strength from within and without as antidotes to our disease and despair. And while every journey traveled on the plane of this Earth has a beginning and an end, we understand that our journey has been one of ascent. We are traveling upward, with no boundaries to the heights we can achieve.
In the Gospel of John we read the story of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus. They were close friends of Jesus who lived in the town of Bethany. The scripture says that Jesus loved them dearly. The young man Lazarus fell ill and died.
Jesus rounded up the disciples and began the trip to Bethany. While still on the road to Bethany, Martha ran out to greet him. She has complete faith in the power of Christ. “Lord,” she says, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.”
Jesus assures her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha knows that for sure. She says, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus replies, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
At this point, Jesus asks for a confirmation to his words, “Do you believe this?”
Martha replies, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
A few moments later, near the tomb, Jesus has the same conversation with Lazarus’ other sister Mary. And she confirms her faith as well.
The miracle takes place. After four days in the tomb, Jesus pulls Lazarus out to full life and full recovery! Needless to say, the people are astonished and the details of this story are distributed throughout the land.
This story is often called the Resurrection of Lazarus. What I propose to you that this is more about Martha and Mary than about Lazarus. True, their brother received the miracle of life, but both Martha and Mary were transformed at that moment of healing. They confessed a faith in a future event, “… he will rise on the last day.” Jesus, with his presence and his words, transformed time itself. No longer is resurrection a thing of the past, but in the immediate present, the here and now, the eternal “I AM” the Resurrection and the Life!
On this 40th Day on the Road to Healing I offer the primer. It is the code which opens the rest of the treasures of faith in all of Armodoxy. It is found in the 29th verse of a hymn written by St. Nersess Shnorhali. He writes, “The Name of Love is Jesus.” Herein lies the truth we have been searching – Love is the resurrection and the life! Believe in Love and you conquer illness, disease, despair, heartbreak and even death. It is transforming and liberating. It is offered to you, not as a final destination on this Road to Healing, but on your path towards ascent to the heavenly dimensions of Faith, Hope and Love.
Hi this is Fr. Vazken. I trust and hope that this Lenten Season was a spiritually uplifting one for you on the Road to Healing. I invite you to get involved in further explorations of faith as we explore Christ and the Blessings in our Life. Join us on Epostle.net, the voice of Armodoxy where you’ll find a special series for the Holy Week in front of us. Also, I’ll be sharing some post-surgery insight with you. Stay tune.
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Photo: Armenian Monastery by Christaphor Movsesian (2013)
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