Some people call them Thin Places: physical locations where one routinely senses the nearness of God. Do you have one of those?
Ever since moving to Colorado in 2014, this bridge (pictured above), on a favorite trail near Boulder, has been a thin place for me. Whether I’m walking alone, with Jeff, with friends, or family, we stop right here. We turn around and face the majestic front range of the Rocky Mountains. We linger. As we take in the view… we feel our breath slow. We notice God’s nearness. We pray. We call it the “Prayer Bridge.” For us, this simple wooden bridge is a thin place. A sliver of Holy Ground.
As Jeff and I walked along in early February, we stopped as always to pray about the day’s assortment of desires and concerns.
An interesting thought came to me as we prayed: When you love someone and want to know what they’re thinking about, you look at their eyes. Sometimes, if you are particularly close to this person, you nearly know what they’re thinking. What’s important to them right now.
I found myself curious… What might God be "looking at" right now? My internal gaze drifted, as it were… wondering if I could see something in my mind’s eye of where God’s attention might be fixed. A rather unusual series of impressions came to me, and I was challenged yesterday by a dear friend and mentor to share them with you. So here goes….
My sense was this: that God’s loving gaze was hovering over humanity with intent. And His concern was consumed with one primary purpose: HEALING.
As that idea settled into my awareness, another thought lept to the foreground of my mind… very strongly. The transfer of WEALTH that both prophets and economists have been talking about for years is real, but insignificant. It is nothing at all, immaterial, inconsequential really, compared to a transfer of HEALTH that God is initiating at this time.
I sensed His words to me… “Do not focus on the transfer of WEALTH; focus instead on the transfer of HEALTH.”
What might that mean? What would that look like? How might we participate and contribute to that transfer of health? Jeff and I prayed into this idea further… and it has remained with me since.
In Jesus’s healing ministry, we see a profound reversal of the pattern which dominated the pattern of health, holiness, and righteousness in the Old Covenant Law. In essence, much of that law protected God’s people from being contaminated, or “made unclean,” by avoiding proximity to — or actually touching — various animals, monthly mensus, true diseases; or even death.
The law also provided a complex set of rituals and ceremonies by which someone who had been made unclean could be restored to the community as clean. As an example, those with skin diseases, often leprosy, were required to shout “unclean” to alert those within earshot of their presence, since they posed a spiritual and physical threat to others. Ritual bathing and “proof” had to be provided to the religious leaders in order to be restored. Contamination always moved from those who were unclean to those who were clean.
Jesus reversed the energy flow. Jesus touched the lepers in order to heal them, and as he did… his “clean” became their “clean.” With Jesus' touch, leperosy, OB/GYN disorders, paralysis, blindness, and even demon-possession became clean. Healed. Jesus caused a trasfer of health.
In Matthew’s account of Jesus’s story, he tells us that when the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (a major “unclean” status) touched Jesus, he felt the power leave him. There was a transfer of health, and he could sense it.
I’m told that in the Greek language, the words for “clean” “prune” “heal” and “saved” are very close to one another, sometimes translated interchangably.
Literally as we were praying, the COVID-19 virus was multiplying and spreading inside Jeff and me, though we could not sense it at the time. Within the week, everyone at our house had tested positive. Honestly, it was somewhat surreal and even a little anti-climatic to have the thing we have dreaded, and largely organized our professional, personal, and collective lives around for nearly a full year. Our world has suffered so greatly; the news has been dominated by this one common threat. At this point, our symptoms have largely dissipated; we are almost back to full health.
I’m not sure I fully grasp the significance of the timing on this… right now, I can’t help but just notice it. Maybe in the days to come I’ll have more awareness, perspective, or insight.
But for now I keep returning to this belief…. that God is intent on releasing a Transfer of HEALTH that far surpasses, in importance and scope, the Transfer of WEALTH that economic advisors foresee.
This transfer of HEALTH in proximity to Jesus is what I want to explore more in this next season.
What questions does this idea raise in you?
Where are you longing for healing?
What might a transformational healing or restoration in that area look like?
What would bringing those requests directly to Jesus involve for you?
I hope you’ll take time, maybe at a “thin place” in your context, to routinely bring those requests to Jesus.
And one final thought: We know that some prayers for physical healing are answered, and some are not. At least not in the way we had hoped. Chronic pain, disabilities, even mental illness, and even death may yet persist.
But the health of the soul is available to us all, even within painful and unchanging circumstances. Soul Health is available because of our proximity to Jesus.
As you bring each day’s assortment of desires and concerns to Him, be prepared for His Transfer of Health. In fact, expect it!