With more than my share of quirks and peccadilloes, I am hesitant to pose the question “What is wrong with me?” But over the last few weeks of coughing and sniffling, then hoarseness, then feeling fine again, then scratchy throat, now maybe reflux, maybe whooping cough/lung cancer/brain tumor or whatever malaise I can imagine lying awake at night, over the last few weeks I have wanted to find any doctor available and ask “What is wrong with me??” – and I’d even be polite enough to wait for an answer.
I don’t usually go to doctors, but then I’m never terribly sick. Moderate ailments are met with a classic “it will work itself out – plus the doctor probably can’t help anyway” attitude. Maybe that’s why I was so willing to go on last weekend’s Reiki-esque adventure: when I get better it usually ‘just happens’, occasionally with a little help from medicine and me.
The last few days I’ve been showing clips from the movie Bernadette, about the apparition in Lourdes. Marian devotion has a very small place in my spirituality, and miracles can be hard to talk about. No one wants to be seen as rube. Will it ruin my intellectual reputation to entertain belief in miraculous healings? Whether it will or not, I have to admit what I know: sometimes people are healed, and we don’t know why. It is truly magical, in the best sense of the word.
Were we better off in a superstitious age, when we could simply say that good things were from God and leave it at that? If something good happened, it was a blessing. But now belief is a dirty word, so we bend over backwards to come up with complicated ways to describe grace as if it were a science.
I am worlds happier now than I was ten years ago, through a combination of time, therapy, and prayer. I always struggled with trying to articulate the role of God in my recovery from depression, because inserting God into a story I didn’t really understand felt like blasphemy. How much of my healing came from daily Eucharist and how much came from weekly therapy? A happy, joyful ten years later I’m not sure I need to know.
It would be silly to deny that God was in that healing or that joy. Without understanding it, I can believe that what makes me more capable, more loving, more whole, more healthy, is of God. When I say my prayers tonight I’ll include an extra one for healing, and then pop an extra Prilosec, just in case.