Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Tonight at Cession, Frank read out a short fictional monologue that I had written. It's based on what might have become of the paralytic that Jesus healed, after his family had lowered him through the roof to beat the crowds...

It's been a month since, against my will, my family forcibly lowered my shattered body through a ceiling, and had me publicly healed by a guy who they all insisted was from God.

And today, right now, alone at the top of this hill, where I should be thanking God for my miraculous new lease of life, I'm feeling thoroughly, thoroughly embarrassed.

A month ago, when the initial realisation kicked-in, when my decrepit legs had suddenly swelled into healthy bones and strong muscles, of course I stood up, jumped, danced, and leapt about like a child.

Of course I did – it was an impossible dream come true.

I ran around the room praising God and singing, I broke down, I cried, and I wholeheartedly, publicly endorsed that man, who'd just miraculously healed me, to be everything we thought he was. Yes, in the euphoria of my delight I said rather a lot of things that I now wish I hadn't.

Today, a month on, the warmth of that emotion is fading, and my coldly logical brain is developing an immunity to my madness. Clever words like "adrenaline," "misdiagnosis," "psychosomatic disorder," "mind over matter," "liar" and even "coincidence" dance through my head like sage teachers of the law.

They are all highly unlikely explanations, but none are quite as unlikely as saying that man was from God.

Even if this healing were from God, what colossal thing could God now be expecting me to do, in order for me to deserve this?

If I use my legs for evil, if I kick someone, or trip someone up, will I become paralysed again? If I just have an evil thought, will I become paralysed again? If I simply stay at home and do nothing, and waste the new life God has given me, will I become paralysed again?

On that analysis, this really could be only temporary.

I'll have to live every day like it's my last with legs.

Now my family thinks that I'm mad. I really am grateful for their faith – where I had none. But they can't understand why I won't just blindly follow this man, purely because he healed me. That's what it seems the whole of Capernaum assumes I'm going to do. I ask you - what kind of logic is that? You don't blindly sacrifice everything to follow your doctor, because he's only good at being a doctor.

No. I still have a decision to make about that guy. A choice of my own free will. My family can't make this choice for me. My friends can't make it for me. I'll take everything on board, but this is my choice to make.

And having listened to that guy talk, with such respect, for a month now, one thing about him has become very clear indeed.

He wants me to make my own decision too.

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