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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