I Touched The Feet Of Jesus ~ Well Sort of...and then He shuffled my IPOD
Come All Who Are Weary And I will Give You Rest
I know the title of this Hub makes no sense as of yet, but if you will hang in there and let me explain I think I can share my experience of how amazing God is and sometimes we have to be open to how He answers prayers.
Johns Hopkins University Hospital for the first time. Here we sought out the talked about the statue of Jesus. Now if you are not aware of this statue it is an infamous piece of exquisite art. ~
One day my husband and I headed out in the early hours to make the three-hour trek to Baltimore Maryland, Johns Hopkins University. I was being sent to see a Physician, as he is a ground-breaker in the area of disease that I am currently struggling with. I have to tell you I was pensive and fully not aware of what to expect, but again, I digress and this Hub is not really about me.
As the GPS (which I ironically named God’s Protection Service in a previous Hub) neared our destination I have to say I was a bit confused with the surrounding area. The neighborhood has suffered the natural inner city changes of abandon buildings, some obvious criminal activity while at the same time a simultaneous almost desperate attempt at revitalization in the community is underway. The confusion arises because, in my mind, I am heading for the infamous University Hospital in a major beautiful city that stands for research, hope and new discoveries. I suppose I thought this large city may have been different, again, there is the hope factor and what this facility stands for in our minds. I suppose in my dreamlike images I expected that hope to spill over into the area in a profound way, like a city of hope. During this moment as we are enveloped in the inner city, my husband actually locks the doors as the neighborhood reflects a serious lack of safety as significant weaponry could be an issue. We are aware of the environment, as we have both worked in large medical facilities in other significant cities with some of the same issues during our careers. We are truly saddened by the reality that our America, the America we love that stands for freedom and possibilities, is in pain and trying to survive. I tear up at the loss of security and the suffering of our lower and middle-class families. I feel for the children on the streets unsupervised and the adults falling victim to circumstance. I close my eyes and say a prayer for our future holding to hope for them and for myself.
We take the images, block by block as we get closer and closer and the GPS states in 500 yards turn right. Then there it is a beautiful series of new and old architecture. It no longer represents buildings in the city, but rather a time, past and present. The older buildings have a whimsical appearance of the old days with arches and domes pulled together by the decorative cement; bricks and mortar, many of the buildings are topped with Crosses. The surrounding path, of the older part of the facilities, have a vintage feel that if you close your eyes you can almost imagine women in long period dresses with corset’s, coiffed hairdos, fashionable hats and twirling parasols perhaps even pushing a baby carriage. We see the bright colors in windows that mark a new Children’s Hospital opening in the spring. Crisp lines of contemporary construction with significantly more glass windows so as to bring the outside in. Both old and new structures do their best to enter the light into the interior walls and create a peace to a chaotic but smooth running system. We see a series of parking garages welcoming people in with a hefty rate to help pay for them. We see essentially a city within a city.
We enter the parking garage for the outpatient center and then the outpatient center itself, which has its own pulse as you enter the doors. First, you immediately check in as visitors and patients where you are donned with an orange bracelet showing your arrival for the upcoming appointment. Now, after three hours our stomachs were alerting us to get a bite to eat, as we know the day will be long. I am a little tired as my muscles are fatiguing a bit with the protocol necessary for the testing of the day. So we make our way to a food court area as my husband has just driven three hours to bring me here and knows it is important to get something while we can. His timing for the trip was impeccably planned out. He knows me so well as he planned for the normal anxieties one would have with such an event and he was sure we arrived with plenty of time to take a leisurely walk to the statue of Jesus. He assists me up the not too many stairs, but each one now feels like a flight due to significant muscle fatigue, hence the reason for the visit, and yet my eagerness to see and touch this famous statue takes over.
We are finally there at the beautifully constructed doors about to enter the building, we are at the center of the campus, and oldest part of this monstrous facility. As we look through the windows we see it faintly in the distance and we know we are in the right place. My husband opens the door and we go, the final steps to the most glorious statue of Jesus. It stands ten feet tall and wide in the girth of His most precious body and His arms are outstretched as if to draw you into the largest hug you may ever have on this earth. We were in silence and awe as we searched every crease in His chiseled cement garment and we looked on as we saw a very frail looking middle-aged man and his wife purposely walking to touch the feet of the statue, HIS FEET. We wanted to respect the privacy of this moment for them so we took in the ambiance of this large Dome shaped hall and somewhat anxiously waited our turn. We were not speaking very much as we simultaneously inched our way to touch the largely grounded feet with the markings of Christ crucifixion. Our hands touched as we set them there and the silence was beautiful and reverent and I know we immediately prayed to Jesus at that statue, privately and at yet together at the same time. I believe we both wished to linger in the presence of the statue rather than head to the appointment in the building across the street. We were on our way out of the area and we noticed the sign in book.
I am a writer, so, of course, I had to try to place a prayer for the both of us to somehow leave it there and at the same time symbolize our unity for strength, faith and hope in our future as a couple, a family and two people walking together in the will of God with our weakness and trust combining in this memory with our Jesus.
We now head out the same inviting doors with a new confidence a silly smile and discussion that was even joyful. We finally got settled in for the appointment and things were well underway, as it went on it was hard to not feel a little pensive, but I knew I had to be here at this time and place. Later, when they were performing a test and finding a negative result I was able to share with a rather weak voice and smile of course, “It will be okay, we touched the feet of Jesus and I will be healed.” The Technician and Doctor performed the test looked at me in that, do you see how weak you are kind of reaction, and stated, “ We do not think that is the Jesus that will heal you.” I know they are right about that, this statue is a symbol of the ultimate healer the greatest physician and it is by His will that my life plan is decided. I was able to get out, “ Well, maybe not physically yet, that may take some time, but spiritually I am healed.” They give a gentle, “we know many people are comforted by the statue.” And then they say, “we will take these results to your Doctor and he will speak with you.” Now there were not too many surprises in the information we heard as a wonderful physician follows me in my hometown. So we knew what we were probably going to discuss ahead of time. We would head home with an understanding we would need to return at a later date to continue the treatment options.
This Statue of Jesus is so special (you can read more in the above-mentioned article as to the story of this statue at John's Hopkins) it is accepted as a sign of faith and hope and it crosses the binding of religion, culture and belief systems. It is so refreshing to see a true honoring of the great physician, Jesus Christ.
Okay, here is where it gets a little interesting. After our return home, I was feeling ill, catching a bit of a cold going around. So, long story short, after being home for a day or two my muscles weakened and I needed to go our local hospital for a treatment to help me over, well let's just call it a hump. So we headed to my sometime home away from home ICU. Of course I am a little disheartened after all I touched the feet of Jesus, was this my answer to my prayer. No ~ It came later in the wee hours of the night as the machines helped me to breathe and gain strength so I could return home to my family. The alarms and lack of control became my temporary reality once again as with my disease this was not my first rodeo.
I had received a gift earlier in the year from my dear husband a tiny technological instrument that plays music and other recordings. My daughter had assisted me just earlier in the week to sync it (oh the terminology of this new generation~ LOL) so I would have the New Testament and many of my favorite Christian songs as well as a few other theme favorites.
I was unable to move but eventually able to be alert enough to know this is not what I want to be feeling and I have to admit in my weakness I started to shed a few tears. I had my IPOD placed on shuffle and thought well I am good to go. Hoping the contents would comfort and distract me. They did! The most amazing thing started to happen. As my weakness and faintness of heart in the faith, I hold so strongly, started to come under attack, I received my answer to prayer. As the night became more difficult a few songs would play and then a passage from the New Testament. Ironically, I started to really listen to the content rather than the machines and it was as if God was speaking directly to me through this device. The first song ironically was called Keep Breathing the timing interesting as I was in a bit of respiratory failure from weakness. This was just the beginning. It seemed almost every song that shuffled into play talked about holding on, hanging in, not giving up and putting your faith in God. Then the bible passages began to play ~ these are just a few ~ It is important to remember my IPOD was on shuffle meaning it would randomly play things and it contains over three hundred songs and the entire New Testament – not everything in the New Testament deals with Faith, suffering from Grace… and not every song deals with hanging on or trusting God ~ But these were the things that played.
Hebrews 11~Faith in Action
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made of what was visible.
4 By faith, Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith, he was commended as righteous when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
Isaiah 43~Israel’s Only Savior
1 But now, this is what the LORD says,
He who created you, Jacob,
He who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
3 Not only so, but we [a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
2 Corinthians 4~Present Weakness and Resurrection Life
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and, therefore, speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal
Paul Baloche ~ Glorious (see below)
In Your Arms ~ Meredith Andrews
You Are For Me ~ Kari Jobe
So after all, of these had played and there were others like the ones I have listed. Each one was getting me through this night. I wanted to be a good, faithful servant and relax and yet I still was so weak and tired and well, I was in ICU for a reason and I started to slip again, yes I was feeling a little sorry for myself. The hours seem like days when you are unable to breathe. Then the song posted below played.
Kirk Franklin ~ SMILE
I must admit I think I did ~ I smiled ~ and even chuckled through the breathing machine and oxygen mask ~ I finally realized God is shuffling my IPOD ~ As soon as I wanted to give up He sent me something to hold onto.
WHO KNEW GOD COULD ANSWER PRAYERS THROUGH AN IPOD!
GLORIOUS ~Paul Baloche
© 2012 The Stages Of ME