On this last day of January, I recall that in Religious Science, January is traditionally the month to explore the preface to the SOM textbook, focusing on The Thing Itself, The Way it Works, What it Does, and How to Use it. In my Sunday talk on 1/17/21 I explored a spiritual lesson from the biblical canon, which I loosely divide into 2 categories as they relate to New Thought:
- Hebrew scripture: many tales teaching about the existence of that POWER for Good (the Thing Itself, the Way It Works, & What It Does)
- Christian canon: many tales on HOW TO USE IT
In my talk I focused on the HOW TO USE IT portion, referencing the story of the women in the crowd from the book of Matthew. Keep in mind that in spiritual metaphysics, we see the biblical canon as one of many wisdom texts from different cultures and accept that they all teach the same spiritual Truths.
As the story goes, the teacher Jesus was drawing great crowds from around the region to hear him talk and teach. He was surrounded by a throng of people one day when a woman who had been sick for many years pushed her way toward him. She could not get his attention, but she pushed on, believing from all she had heard about him that if she could only touch his garment, she would be healed.
20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. Matthew 9:20-22
In traditional religious lore, much of the focus on this story has been on the reaction of Jesus – that he felt his power move, and his reaction, but I wanted to look at what it took for that woman to get to her healing. To do that, let’s look at some of the extraneous circumstances:
- She was anemic
- She was tired
- She was weak
- The crowds were intense
- This was a LOT of effort to touch the bottom of someone’s robe…
This was nothing less than an act of extraordinary faith on her part.
In the book “The Essential Ernest Holmes” we read:
“The invisible passes into visibility through our faith in it.”Ernest Holmes
In the story of this woman, the INVISIBLE (the healing of her physical ailment) passed into visibility – came into reality – through her faith in the ability for this to happen.
Joel Goldsmith, author of a number of wonderful, spiritual books, wrote in The Infinite Way: “Faith does not concern the past or the future. Faith is an activity taking place in the present — now, only now!”
Right here, right now – as we face our own needs around healing, whether we are seeking physical healing, healing of our finances, healing of emotional or mental distress – the question for us is this: what is our plan to press through the crowd and touch the edge of the garment of Truth?
What are we willing to do right now?
Move into the unknown
By evidence of the fact that we participate in a spiritual organization, or read a spiritually-themed blog, I would assume that we all, at varying levels, have the belief that healing is a possibility.
The next question then becomes: are we ready, willing and ABLE to put forth the effort following at times an unclear path (keep in mind this woman was not heading out to a preset appointment – she was not even sure she would be able to claw her way through that crowd,… and still she went) on our journey toward healing?
I like to explain this in the modern context as getting up and putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how we FEEL, no matter what the APPEARANCE OF THINGS may be, no matter what OTHERS tell us is likely or probable. We must get up; we must keep pressing forward in the crowd – because we know (KNOW!) that when we touch even the edge of the garment of Truth – we are healed.
I have shared many of my own examples on this blog and in other talks. When I needed $15k for a new roof, the Prize Patrol did not knock on my door. But a tree fell on my roof and a part time, temporary job came into my experience. When I sought relief from my student loan payments, I did not win the power ball or suddenly find a long lost relative with a large inheritance for me. Someone walked into my office for a casual chat and in passing, mentioned the student loan program that was being used by his fiancé.
Something I haven’t written much about in the past was when I sought a physical healing. In 2013 a random blood test discovered that I had an elevated blood Calcium level. The diagnosis was hyperparathyroidism, and the only known and best prescribed cure was surgical removal of the diseased parathyroid gland.
I was early enough into my deeper spiritual journey that I fully intended to secure a miraculous healing with no medications and no surgery. I was a bit arrogant about it (within my own thoughts). What I got instead was the miraculous moving of INSURANCE mountains, the availability of a national EXPERT on thyroid/parathyroid surgeries for my surgeon, and a simple, safe, and effective surgical intervention.
Once I pivoted away from insisting on HOW I would heal, and opened myself to divine guidance and a willingness to do some really hard things (agreeing to surgery, the pre-op surgical testing,…), my Treatment work shifted and my Treatment demonstrated in the surgeon’s words to my parents, post-op:
We removed the diseased parathyroid gland and her PTH levels immediately dropped to normal – this was a textbook case, and she’ll be back to normal in short order.
In our personal healing quests, we must become like the woman in the biblical story. She did not wait for this traveling teacher/healer to come to her house and sit with her. She got up and MOVED into action: she treated and moved her feet. And she moved her feet in a way that was not easy; not clear; not even ASSURED – aside from her own, deep faith and conviction.
Jesus summed up the power of deep faith later in Matthew:
“…For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
I suspect that when a booming voice comes from the clouds or a voice echoes out of a burning bush that it’s easier to expect a miracle than when we have to settle for touching the bottom of the robe of the prophet or teacher. That’s what makes the story of the woman in the crowd so extraordinary. She took a brief encounter, blended it with extreme faith and the willingness to do some hard things – and achieved results that had eluded her for more than a decade.
Today I am suggesting that we learn from this woman, and pivot to being willing to move into action, with a belief and a faith that is unshakable and unwavering. I am reminding myself as much as anyone else that we need to move forward with a willingness to accept that we may not know where the path leads but that we need to hold onto that faith, and do more than hope, wish and pray. We must be willing to do the hard work of healing, and then we will see the miracles unfold in front of us.
And so it is.
(C) 2021 Practitioner's Path