My therapist says that healing is like a coil, it may feel like we are going round and round (and round!) in circles, but hopefully that coil is vertical and we are moving upwards at the same time. I like that analogy-like a spiral staircase. I find that I’m on that spiral staircase in my relationship with Heavenly Father and Christ (as well as many other issues). I feel close to them, then I feel confused, and distant, then something happens and I feel close to them again. And round and round I go. As part of my effort to be sure the staircase is ascending, and not heading off in any other direction, I’ve decided to focus on the stories of “believers” as I find them in the scriptures. I hope to be inspired and moved by them. I’m leaving out the people who were physically healed for this project mostly because their healing was instantaneous while ours is generally slow.)
In my reading last week, I learned about Nathanael (John 1:47-51). Nathanael believed because Christ said, “Before that Phillip called thee when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” That was enough for Nathanael to proclaim Jesus, the Son of God. I am so impressed by Nathanael’s humility (I think many people, myself included would be hindered by our pride and be a bit more skeptical.) I’m also impressed with his faith. This story reminds me to look back on all the ways that God has blessed my life, and really their are many. If Nathanael could believe with just one comment, surely I can believe because I have been given much.
This week, I read about the Roman Centurion who came to Jesus to plead for his sick servant. Jesus offered to come right away, but the Centurion wasn’t having it. He said he was not worthy of such a visit, but asked that Christ only speak the words and He knew it would be done. Christ was very pleased with him, and the servant was healed.
This story fascinates me because this is not what I would have expected from a Roman Centurion. From what I have read Roman soldiers and their leaders were fierce fighters, whether it is fair or not, I’ve always imagined them to be–not nice people. (As an aside, a book I’m currently reading is softening my heart by helping me see that they were undoubtedly affected by their surroundings. The book is called The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How God People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo, PhD. This book helps me understand why God is willing in some cases to even forgive murderers.) What the Roman did is amazing for several reasons:
- Rome ruled over Israel at this time, so the Centurion could have made the mistake of seeing Christ, along with all other Jews, as his inferiors. But he didn’t.
- He plead for his servant, who is also technically his inferior.
- Again he showed humility by saying he was not worthy for Christ to come to his house.
- Finally, he had enough faith to trust on words alone that his servant (friend?) would be healed.
No wonder Christ was impressed with this man! This story is a reminder to me to be humble but also in those moments that I don’t feel worthy to ask for anything for myself, I can still reach out and ask for blessings for those I love.
Photo Attribution: LDS Media Library