Do you ever feel like it's only in sickness that you realise how much you have taken your own health for granted? I'm a pretty healthy person and don't get sick very often, so when I do it isn't always something that I handle very well (yesterdays pathetic post is a good example of this!). Last night I went to bed feeling very unwell indeed but this morning I have woken up not only lacking the negative symptoms of the evening, but almost feeling like a superhero by comparison. Every breath is invigorating, my body is ready and looking forward to the day's work and my mind is buzzing with ideas.
Even comparatively secular historical Jesus scholars acknowledge that Jesus was a healer. Though I doubt that Jesus' healing methods can be easily understood from the framework of modern Western medicine, I hardly think that this is the point of the healing stories in the gospels. On a sociological level, Jesus' healing removed the barriers that kept people on the margins of society; their illnesses excluded them from full participation in the social and economic life of their community. On a personal level, I wonder if they felt like I do today - with the disabling effects of sickness still in recent memory, providing a stark comparison with a renewed present sense of health and wellbeing. I feel like I could do anything today (yes, it is still early in the morning) but I also have an enhanced empathy for those who are not in full health or who live with a disability on a daily basis.
I'm keenly aware that these feelings don't last. Not that I expect to get sick again soon, but simply that my current appreciation for my own health is unlikely to last. Before long, I'll be taking it for granted again as I have done so often before. Until then, I plan to hold my temporary sense of invulnerability in creative tension with a more humble memory of my own recent incapacity.