Since Christmas I have been meandering through the book of Luke. Granted, I took a deer trail through Psalms, and a sashay through bit of II Corinthians, too. Still, I have been taking my time about getting through Luke, thinking about what Jesus said, what He was really like... And what the people around Him were really like, too. More than once persons come to Jesus asking Him to heal them and He responds with things like, "Your faith has made you well," or "Let it be according to your faith."
What if I asked Jesus to make my [near-sighted] eyes able to see? Would I really have the faith to lay aside my glasses and be able to see perfectly whilst driving? What about my spiritual eyes - do I think Jesus has more authority over spiritual things than physical things? It is sad that I think Jesus is more able to heal my heart than my eyesight. He made both my heart and my body, He has equal authority and ability to heal them. Yet He has every reason not to - not if healing is in proportion to my faith. My faith is cramped, atrophied, beggarly. I have lost much of the childlike innocence that believes without wavering and doubting. I have grown old, and my Father is younger than me (to paraphrase Chesterton). I hate growing old, talking of lifeless things, forgetting how to believe, knowing now the double meaning behind various phrases, and the sordid like.
I do not think innocence means ignorance. I believe it is a knowing, a belief, that transcends --even halts-- senility of heart and mind. In a way, innocence is the deepest knowing, both clarity of sight and of insight.
My more youthful self asked yesterday (after reading of the lepers who were cleansed and the nine who never came): "What if every time I sinned it appeared on my skin like a boil or leprosy? What if I then had to go around shouting out, 'Unclean! Unclean!'?" I shuddered, knowing I would be hideous beyond imagining. Then I had a feeling of relief and joy: I was unclean, but since God made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us --for me!-- and in that same act made us to be righteousness itself, I am no longer unclean. Though I still wrestle with sin and my own fleshly desires, God forever sees me as redeemed through the blood of Jesus... Because God is not trapped in our linear time like we are. He sees us as we are - though we see ourselves as still becoming, in our limited time-line existence.
Something about knowing that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus gives me more faith. Perhaps seeing the miracle --it is nothing short of that-- of being made righteousness itself reminds me that if God can do that great (vastly more far-reaching) work, He can heal my eyes, or cancer, or broken arms and broken hearts. May it be according to our faith.