Since I make this request to whom it may concern, please understand that I’m not seeking absolution from you, at least not in the formal sense.
Will you hear my confession?
It has been my blessing to know John Stewart and his family for about ten years now. I first met him in the glory days of the regional blogfleet called the Minnesota Organization of Blogs (MOB). This picture was taken at Keegan’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis, a MOB gathering place in 2005. At the time, I only knew John by his nom de blog of The Night Writer. There was a season where his wife and two daughters were blogging as well, earning them the well-deserved title of “Minnesota’s first family of blogging.”
In the time I have known John, I have read many blog posts he has written. We have had a number of conversations, both in person and online. I have never read or heard an unkind word fall from his pen or his lips. I consider John to be an unashamed, unapologetic Christian, but he’s not a stuck-up sticky-beak or a pompous puffed-up pea-brain about it. I consider him as someone who has successfully navigated between the Scylla of spiritual timidity, and the Charybdis of spiritual pride and arrogance. As far as I know, he is doing his small, necessary part to forward the gospel, and is content to be doing his small, necessary part. I am grateful that he is in my world.
John recently entered a new season in life when he was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”). As ALS is but one of a family of diseases, John has decided to call it “Uncle Lou.” He is blogging about it here. He seems to have a certain conviction that he will confound this disease. Will he? I don’t know. But even if he doesn’t, I believe he will sing his noble death song and die like a hero going home. I believe he will live his life the way he has lived his life in the presence of many witnesses (including me).
Will you hear my confession? I confess I am disquieted when I consider the possibility that there are “Job’s comforters” out there, people thinking, “Well, if John really was a man of God, he wouldn’t get such a weird, scary disease.” Fortunately, if such people exist in my world, they are keeping their mouths firmly shut.
I confess that I want the words of Mark 16:18, “they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” to be true in my world, but they are not.
Will you hear my confession? I confess dissatisfaction as to why that should be the case. Was Mark 16:9-20 an extra addition, as some people claim?
I confess I don’t want there to be “fine print,” provisos or qualifications to the promises of God.
Will you hear my confession? I confess I don’t want fine print to be necessary, but it seems like it is.
I confess that I want to be the one that lays hands on sick people, and they will get well, but I’m not. Everyone has different gifts.
Will you hear my confession? I confess that I want it to be a practice of the New Message from God to pray for sick people to get well, but it is not. There definitely is a practice of praying for other people, but it focuses on the qualities I believe the other person needs for resolution, as opposed to strengthening a preferred outcome. I haven’t written about it yet because it is addressed in a later Step.
I confess that I want Marshall Summers to heal the sick, but he does not. He has never advertised to do so. I don’t believe he ever will. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for him to share his message if he did.
Will you hear my confession? I confess a certain lack of clarity as to what tool to take from my spiritual toolbox. I like the “I will forgive, and this will disappear” hammer from Lesson 193 of A Course in Miracles. But if I use that, I’m strengthening a preferred outcome, aren’t I? John seems to be doing well as far as inner strength is concerned.
I confess to inflicting the argument that past and present versions of me are having, upon an undeserving reader.
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