The CureMarch 21st, 2012 by Alvaro Ordoñez
Editor’s Note: The following post is from Alvaro Ordoñez, MD. He is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. We are pleased to welcome him as a contributor to the Cross Connection website.
A couple of months after the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, which killed over 316,000 people and left more than 1.5 million without a home, I had the opportunity to go and help with a medical brigade.
After traveling through the ruined streets of Port au Prince, we reached a small village in the mountains away from the chaos in the city. The families who lived there grew their own food and had little contact with the outside world. While we attended to patients with different diseases, we noticed that an elderly woman sat all day in the same chair; always wearing the same dark dress and the same hairstyle, day after day. We asked the neighbors about this lady and her story, and their answer was: “She is sick, and there is no cure for what she has… she is just waiting to die.”
Jesus also encountered people without hope. The first miracle recorded by Matthew is someone whose cure was humanly impossible. He was reviled by society, rejected by his friends and family. Leprosy was the worst disease a person could have in biblical times. Matthew 8:1-4 tells us the story of a leper who looked for Jesus and accepted by faith that He had the power to heal him. He walked to Jesus and fell at His feet believing that He was the only hope in his life, the only thing he had, everything he needed … and pleaded: “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
In an attempt to understand the Haitian woman’s clinical situation, we asked again what kind of illness she had. “It’s the disease from mosquitoes, it is malaria…” said one of the neighbors. Knowing that for over 70 years there has been a treatment available for malaria and no patient with adequate treatment should die from it, was really frustrating. I felt the immediate need to run to tell that woman and the whole village that there was hope! She didn’t have to sit there waiting for death! There was a cure!
Just like physical illness, you have another kind of disease. Those fears that wake you up in the night, that past life that is still haunting you, the frustration you face when you do things wrong over and over again. Those things, like leprosy, are making you fall apart piece by piece. You can look perfect on the outside, but just like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, you know that there’s more than meets the eye.
There is hope! You don’t have to sit there waiting for eternal death. Look for the miracle! There is a cure! It requires action; it requires faith to believe in Jesus, who died on a cross but lives to intercede for you. Just like with the leper, He is looking for you right now, He wants to reach out, touch you and say: “I am willing, be healed!”
PS: If you know the cure, why wait to go and tell a dying world?