I wanted to keep talking with Hilary, but the pager went off and I headed to the emergency department. Down the hall, down the elevator, through a few double doors, and I was there.
I was talking most of the trip.
“Hilary is right you know, Jesus,” I said. “if we read that first part of Mark, and if we remember the parts we like, you are healing people all the time, right?”
I didn’t hear anything, so I kept talking.
“I know that Mark works to be clear that you aren’t primarily a healer of sick people, that there is something else going on, a deeper story. But in the first few episodes, you cast out a demon, you heal a fever, you heal everyone who comes, you cast out lots of demons, you heal a man with a brutally isolating skin disease, and you heal a man who was paralyzed.
“It’s very easy for people who are here in this building with some very similar conditions to believe that if you did it then, you should be willing to do it now. And if you don’t, it feels like you don’t care or aren’t aware.”
Even as I was talking to Jesus, I was aware of walking through buildings built to focus on healing. It’s easy for the people I see (and for me), to think of recovery and the absence of recovery as the most important questions. For many people familiar with the story of Peter’s mother-in-law and other Bible stories, and familiar with the commercials for drugs that work wonders, and familiar with fictional physicians who fix things, coming to the hospital and staying sick and uncertain is devastating. Between them, Jesus, drugs, and docs are the cure.
And when time passes, the chaplain wrestles with the questions.
“Level 1 trauma, 2 minutes, room 24.” I heard the overhead announcement as I walked through the last double door.
“Amen,” I said.