Monday, February 14, 2011
The need for a miracle...
Last week I somehow (I don't remember the link) came across a discussion at "Times and Seasons" that discussed whether the church still believed in miracles as described in the four Gospels as performed by Christ, or whether for some reason we have become a church of cessationists - meaning we confirm that such miracles no longer occur, even in the restored church. It was a good read in preparation for this week's Gospel Doctrine discussion on miracles.
What I describe next concerns me that I might be trampling on sacred ground - but in the hope that it will be received in the spirit it is given, I feel it is worth the risk:
What put this in perspective was last week's Fast and Testimony Meeting. In this meeting a brother from the ward appeared in the chapel after a six week absence. Six weeks ago, he suffered a spinal chord injury that paralyzed him from his shoulders down. The doctors were baffled as to what to do. A priesthood blessing was given and IMMEDIATELY, his right toe began to wiggle. Six weeks later, he walks to the podium, gingerly, but under his own power and stands before us bearing his testimony of the power of the priesthood and that miracles have not ceased. With tears flowing off the faces of the congregation, absolute silence filled the space and the spirit bore witness that something special was being witnessed of epic proportions.
Fast forward to yesterday's, SS class, and there was a discussion on the IMMEDIACY of Christ's miracles, and an interesting note was made that this IMMEDIATE recovery of the sick and afflicted bore testimony of the power and divinity of Christ to the Jews. There was a discussion about whether such "immediacy" was a requirement of a healing to be considered a "miracle" in today's church. Most concluded that it did not, though many feel that a miracle that took six weeks wouldn't have the "wow factor" of some to believe, but the "wow factor" of seeing this brother in last week's Fast and Testimony meeting was, nonetheless, a full-out miracle again of New Testament proportions.
Then, quietly, a humble man stood in the back of the room and began to speak. Heads turn and all discussion stops. He spoke in a way that everyone became silent again and the spirit bore witness that something special was happening. This brother reminded us that last year he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his body overcome with the disease and tumors that filled his body, deemed inoperable, and they sent him home to die giving him three days to live. Several priesthood blessings followed, faith was exercised, and today this brother is healthy and whole, despite medical science remaining baffled at his recovery.
Both of these brothers I personally know very well. They have blessed my life as I have had the chance to offer blessings to them. Have miracles ceased? Does the restored church still believe in the gift of healing? Is God involved in our lives beyond helping us to find our missing keys in the snow or under the tire (the typical miracle quoted in our meetings)? I can only stand witness to what I saw, felt and understood.
As great as these miracles of healing are to build our faith and to strengthen our testimonies of the divinity of Christ and the power of faith in Him, the greatest miracle remains the one where our souls are healed...
Fast forward again to now: My heart is really heavy today. The foundations of my "house of cards" that I've built through the years is cracking and crumbling. I ache knowing the pain and confusion I've caused dear loved ones due to my own pain and confusion of who I am as a man attracted to other men. I do not deny who I have become by accepting this fact. Yet, I am pained at the suffering my hidden world has caused.
Is there a miracle big enough to put my house back together and heal our cracked and aching souls? If one kind of miracle is indisputably manifested before me that He is real and this is real, can there be hope for this other type of miracle to strengthen and "heal" my own foundations? And can such a miracle be deemed less miraculous?
WOW... sorry... this post is pretty heavy for Valentine's Day... but hey, I didn't pick the day this earthquake occurred in my life. More to come... (maybe)...