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)...

20 comments:

naturgesetz said...

I definitely think there are still miracles, and that they don't have to be instantaneous.

We need to remember, though, as Jesus pointed out that Elijah performed the miracle of the oil and flour only for the widow of Zarephath of Sidon, and Elisha cured only Naaman the Syrian of his leprosy. In the same way, Jesus healed only one man at the pool of Bethesda. In other words, there is never a guarantee of a miracle.

So pray for a miracle, but also do whatever you can to heal those souls and those foundations of your life.

MNJ said...

Beck-as some one who was on a similar foundation and watched it crumble completely to dust and to now be on solid ground, life intact, only the hand of god could have orchestrated the miracle that is my life.

Neal said...

I pray that you will have your miracle, Beck. But only God can hand those out. I'm not sure what qualifies someone to be a recipient, other than faith and a need.

Beck said...

NATURGESETZ: That's great insight. These miracles, as immediate and powerful as they were, were, indeed, very individual-based. Not everyone is healed. And why is that?

When the ten lepors were healed and only one returned, did the other nine believe to be healed but just were ungrateful? Healing takes believing... yet why are some healed and others not, yet both believe?

I know without a doubt that miracles - real ones - still occur in today's world. I also know that I need to do what is necessary within my own power to heal these souls around me.

MNJ: You are a testimony to me of the restorative powers of a crumbled foundation. I need your confirmation that God orchestrated this miracle in your life. Thanks for such a witness.

NEAL: Thanks for your prayers. I believe in the cases of these two brothers that I posted about, that the community of prayer united in purpose brought great things to pass for good in their lives.

Beck said...

WOW... when I just posted a comment, the word verification, which as you know usually comes up as a scramble nonsensical word, what should just come up but the word verification: "BLESS"!

Is it a sign? Of course not! But I find it interesting just the same.

Ned said...

Here's another perspective. We are always being blessed and miracles are constantly underway, but because some things do take time to work out and some blessings are taken for granted, we don't see clearly what is constantly underway on our behalf, and how what we're doing may bring miracles about in other lives, even if we don't see the connection or realize how integral we are to the outcome.

I love how the movie Forest Gump challenges the common view that any one "ordinary" individual doesn't really make the much difference in the way the entire world unfolds for all of us. We are all extraordinary and we only rarely see some of the many ripples of blessings our lives create.

May you be blessed, not only with the miracle you seek, but with awareness to glimpse the miracles to which you contribute.

((( huge hug )))
.

Forester said...

It's hard for me to believe that you have caused much pain and suffering to others by hiding your attraction to men and by the choices you have made surrounding this attraction.

MoHoHawaii said...

Foundations can be rebuilt with honest words plainly spoken.

Beck said...

NED: Sometimes there are miracles that are just slam-dunk in-your-face types that leave your mouth dropped. This type is exemplified in the two brethren in my ward.

Then, the type that take years to develop, such as the survival and thriving of our MOM despite it all... that may be just as mouth-dropping of a miracle but it takes a lot different perspective.

Like Forest Gump (or for that matter George Bailey) we really never realize the effect of our ripples and the part we play in the miracles of each other's lives.

Beck said...

FORESTER: When it comes time for you to no longer be able to hide, and you must face up to your hidden world to your young-adult children, then you'll understand better what I'm talking about...

MOHOH: See response to Forester above. It has come time for me to rebuild my relationship with my children "with honest words plainly spoken".

I'm still not sure exactly when and how it will happen, but it will happen before the end of this month.

heavy sigh...

wish me luck, my friend!

Miguel said...

Sometimes the miracle is the tragedy itself- ever heard of beware of what you ask for? Whatever it the issue is, I'm sure that a lot of goodness and progress will come out of it, so man up and let it be!
Hugs,Miguel

Beck said...

MIGUEL: Thanks for your encouraging words. As I've had a couple of days to get over the initial shock, I'm becoming more confident, though still scared, that things will work out. Often a sense of tragedy is worse than the actual event... right?

marriedtoamoho said...

Oh Forester, that comment speaks volumes about you.
Beck- As I see it, you have nothing to hide. It is definitely a delicate subject, but not one that should alter your kids' universe dramatically. But man, I'm not eager for the day that approaches- for MNJ and I to bring it into our kids' world either. I think I underestimate my kids though. They are exposed to "the gay" all of the time, and really, you know MNJ, they'll figure it out on their own sooner or later.
I can't wait to hear the juicy story! I'm such a sucker for drama.
mandi

Bravone said...

Like MNJ, my house was also destroyed by my actions. One of the greatest miracles of its reconstruction has been the love, acceptance, and strength I received from my wife and especially my children. They know YOU. You haven't changed. You are still you, the loving dad you have always been.

Prayers heading your way.

Beck said...

MANDI: Thanks for your confidence in me. I do think that I'm finally ready to face my own family with this. When they've figured it out and still profess to love me, that bodes well for a good and honest discussion to clear the stuffy-closet air, no? And best of luck when it comes your turn with your kids! You've miraculously survived the challenges thrown at you to date... I have no doubt you will be able to handle "the gay" discussion when the time comes.

Meanwhile, wish me luck, but I don't promise too many juicy details of drama... I've tried to keep family, particularly kids, out of this blog discussion and don't know how I feel about expanding the dialog to include them here... hmmm... need to ponder that one..

Beck said...

BRAVONE: My house is not destroyed, though it has developed some pretty noticeable cracks in the foundations. Following your example of hope for a better future, I am feeling more calm today and realizing that maybe the cracks can be repaired without tearing down the whole structure.

GeckoMan said...

Out of three children, I only really got to come out face to face with one of them... the first!

Keep that in mind--really good secrets don't stay fresh too long. If you want to be the first to say it, and in your own style and touch, then prepare a plan and stick to it. I might also say that they're reaction may have been dumbfounded at first, but really, they weren't all that surprised! I suspect your kids will be the same.

Beck said...

GECKO: Why is it that we spend our entire lives trying to preciously hide all that we are, especially from our loved ones, and they know our secret all along? Who am I fooling but myself? And why do I do this?

Ned said...

It's Wednesday of your big week. I'm thinking of you and your loved ones, hoping you're feeling calm, praying that your talks and understandings are going well.
.

Lea said...

Beck, thank you for your sincerity. What an amazing soul.
my thoughts and prayers are with you,
L