Do You Have Faith?

Do you have faith? A class discussion today entered the realm of faith and a few people asked why we don’t have the faith Jesus did. For example why don’t we heal people? It was an interesting discussion evoking ideas of courage, love, trust, authority, and the very nature of faith. If we have faith in God why can’t we heal the sick? The discussion took on an interesting twist as we all knew that no one in the room had ever tried to heal anyone. Some people claimed it was a bad example, but I think they were just shying away from it. Healing is quite a remarkable miracle, a tangible display of God’s power. You can’t argue with a miracle like that. At the same time what do you do if nothing happens?

This summer I watched this very event unfold on the streets of Chicago. I was sitting on the steps of the Museum of Broadcasting and these three women, dressed like the had just come from church, were leading a crippled man around, praying and singing. There was a woman on each side of the man, supporting him and half dragging him, half helping him to walk down the sidewalk. The third woman followed behind carrying his crutches. The three women prayed, sang, and encouraged the man to straighten up and walk. The whole time he had this bewildered look on his face, as if he couldn’t believe how crazy these women were–but at the time he had a touch of hope in his face. A tiny glimmer of hope that these Bible quoting women could actually heal him. You could tell he didn’t expect it to happen, but if it did, he would gladly take the help.

A few hours later as I headed back to the train I passed that man on the sidewalk. He was still struggling along with his crutches, and the three church ladies were no where to be found. I don’t quite understand the point of their action. They tried to heal him, and failed. Perhaps they didn’t have enough faith. Perhaps the crippled man lacked faith. Perhaps God simply didn’t want to heal this man. But one thing I do know, those women had a lot more faith than I ever have, and probably ever will.

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