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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Celebrity?

I made it to Sunday School and church this morning! Usually, I'm moving slow in the mornings and I'm faced with the choice of making sure everyone else is ready on time or being on time myself. So, of course, the "good mama" in me....

Anyway, I made it to both functions today. It was kind of an odd sensation—it felt like there was a reaction in the group. Sort of a "Marcia's here!" murmur. (How odd!) Then, between services, people were stopping me in the halls to talk to me! I began to feel like some kind of celebrity. And what am I "famous" for? — Having an incurable condition that may eventually undermine my quality of life! What an accomplishment!

"Thank you! Thank you! First of all, I'd like to thank the Academy. I'd also like to thank all the little people who made it all possible...."

I think I'm beginning to better understand the story in John 5:2-9.

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.


"Do you want to get well?" Why would anyone ask that question?

Maybe what Jesus was really asking was, "Are you willing to be nobody?"

Just think, for 38 years—thirthy-eight years!—this guy had been a landmark!

"Look! There's old Simeon. I remember seeing him there when I was a kid!"

"Yeah, it just wouldn't be Bethesda Pool without good old Simeon."

What would he have been known for? Having an incurable medical condition! He was recognized by his non-functioning body, and probably by his bedroll and "his spot" by the pool. If he were healed, he would become just another face in the crowd—just another ordinary guy going about his ordinary business.

"Do you want to get well?"

On some level, Jesus was asking him to give up his celebrity. To become a nobody for the glory of God. The same thing he asks all of us to do! The same thing he asks me to do....

Hmmmmm...

How do I draw the line between keeping people informed for the purpose pf prayer and encouragement vs. "playing my role" for dramatic effect?

What marks the transition between having a platform (for witnessing and informing) and a stage (for claiming the spotlight)?

Is this whole post a valid contemplation of what I'm learning through having Parkinson's or just a noble-sounding grab for the spotlight?

I need to think about this....

2 comments:

Keetha said...

Oh honey - - - - I think you show tremendous insight in even HAVING these thoughts. You just continue to be Marcia-infilled-with-the-Holy-Spirit through all of this and don't allow Satan to plague you with any "vain and foolish" arguments. (He does love to mire us down in those.)

I am finding you more and more each day a spiritual hero.

Anon said...

Definitely a valid contemplation. The enemy will want you to think it's the latter of the two. I know why people are excited to see you in church.....because there are many people who face tough waters and give up too easily. You have a faith that we all get to witness while you're going through this. What an encouragement you're being to us all and you don't even realize the impact it's having on us now and for the rest of our lives. Talk about giving God the glory and you're just living your life. Thanks for the passage of Scripture today!