A Blue Balloon

“Chasing down hot air balloons
on Sunday morning,
In pace with a familiar tune
I reach for nothing less
but something more, all the day
and the wind is at my back most of the way”

-Phil Keaggy

The young man sat on the swivelly, rolly chair and batted the blue balloon at his nephew who then batted it over to Richard, who was asleep.

The balloon hit Richard’s head and the ladies laughed. Richard was asleep (or so it seemed). The impact of the balloon did not wake him… or did it? It was hard for the young man to tell.

The young man then commenced batting the blue balloon over to Helen, who batted it back with her right hand and arm, her left arm noticably immobile.

Helen smiled at first, but then grimaced when instructed to use her left arm for a bit.

If I could wave my magic wand…

The young man rolled over close to Helen and asked her quietly,

“What is the matter with your arm…does it just not work?”

Helen grumbled softly and the young man had difficulty making all the words out.

The young man’s nephew was called out of the room and Richard and Helen and the other ladies walked or were wheeled out.

“Goodbye Helen”, the young man called.

“Goodbye, thank you.” the words came back over Helen’s shoulder.

The young man sat alone in the now quiet room. He looked over at the blue balloon which was now motionless on the floor.

He was sad and lonely. His playmates were gone.

Jesus Heals: A Parable

Although I’ve heard and read the story in the Gospel of Jesus healing the paralytic many times, it has just recently had a profound effect on me because of a part of the story I had overlooked. At the end of the story we read, “They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, We have never seen anything like this.” I suppose the people were astounded that a man who couldn’t walk was now walking at Jesus’ direction. I’m sure I would have felt the same way. But perhaps they comprehended the same thing I did just recently.

After watching the opening of the roof and the lowering of the man down on his mat, as a response to this display of faith, Jesus told the man “Your sins are forgiven.” The story continues that some of the scribes were there and were complaining among themselves that Jesus couldn’t do that because only God can forgive sins. To answer their challenge, Jesus tells the man to get up and go home. And the man does.

So what I recently began to wonder is, did Jesus intend to initially heal the man’s paralysis, or did he do that only after the scibes complained?

On Saturday I went to Confession. I have been doing that more frequently. On Sunday I didn’t feel very good and was confined to my bed pretty much the whole day, feeling miserable. Sometimes when you are laying in bed and can’t sleep, you think about stuff. I thought about asking the Lord that if it be His will, that I could feel better soon. And I thought about the paralytic man and his healing, and what Jesus did for the man. So I modified my prayer: Lord, if it is Your will, please heal my spirit and body.

In that order.