Thursday, February 18

there's no such thing as dragons

I think people in my context will look at these power healing acts with skepticism and maybe even fear... disapproval.

TWe are confident in modern medicine, and only when all these possibilities fail and we have nowhere to turn to do we choose to appeal to or blame God, or any version of supernatural powers. Then, when we finally pray and God answers, heals, performs a miracle, we look for the medical, scientific reasons behind the healing, no matter how improbable. And we allow that to stamp out our ascription of glory to God.

We feel a real confidence in the powers of our own will, ingenuity, perseverance and technology. And I think we feel only a fairytale confidence in the powers of God to heal and perform miracles. Vern said, “…when the people realize that there is no spiritual power in medicines, they soon reject them as simply a way of covering up the physical symptoms, but as having no real power to get at the spiritual causes of the problem.” I see our context in America as the stark opposite. Neither culture calls on the power of the living God, but ours calls not on the power of any god or divinity. The power of God is not bound by the boarders of our understanding it. The power of God can work and be made visible in all contexts, no matter the culture. But, as I think of our (my) human works in this context of mine, I realize how much further the American culture in Grand Rapids seems from that of the Tzotzils in Chiapas. We don’t begin from the point of spiritual powers, however lesser or demonic they may be, like the Tzotzil do. We, in my context, hold our medicine and personal self-discipline at the core of what makes our bodies and minds and even spirits survive and thrive.