Saturday, November 12, 2016

Have Mercy On Those Who Doubt

This is the art project my little class of nursing home residents did yesterday. You probably cannot tell from the photo, but they painted the turkey, and then decorated the feathers with glitter. They had a lot of fun, and that was my goal. The Activities Director hung it on the wall immediately so they could enjoy looking at their communal effort as long as possible.

Following my art class, I went on to Physical Therapy for my frozen shoulder. I love my therapist - she is very kind, and fun also. She is trained in a technique called 'dry needling' which is exactly as gruesome as it sounds. A dry thin needle is inserted in the painful muscles for reasons similar to acupuncture, and the muscles 'release'. She insists there is only a day of achiness, and then substantial reduction in pain. She had described the process the first time I saw her, and then brought it up again the next visit.

I told her that I am sure she is correct that it would be helpful, but I simply could not bear the thought of the process and would prefer we not do it.  She told me again she would not force me, though she felt we should revisit the idea when I might be ready for it. In my session yesterday, she nonchalantly mentioned it (again). I laughed.

"I like how you snuck in that tricky mention of needling," I said, "You remind me of me and how I look for any chance I can to throw the name Jesus into a conversation. Maybe we should make a deal? Every time you say 'needling', I can talk about Jesus."
She laughed. "Deal. We are partners in this after all!"

I feel a little like the Nursing Home residents who walk in my art class, and then say, "Oh, I can't do this! I can't draw! And my hand shakes. I'll just watch."

I so want to persuade them that anyone can participate at some level. It will be okay! And really, all the residents are always glad when they do join in. They may not be good enough to have their work on the wall of a museum, but they always have fun, and their work is certainly good enough to grace the wall of the Activities Room. I know they would enjoy the class, but I won't force them.

Then I think of my fear of letting my PT attempt 'needling' to release my frozen shoulder.

Maybe, I am as timid as those Nursing Home residents who won't even try my art class because of fear. Could I be as timid as those who say the Jesus story is compelling, and they really want to believe, but they just can't quite take that leap of faith? I know they will not regret it. I know they will find peace, and joy, and the blessings that God longs to shower on them...but I won't force them.

And my PT won't force me to submit to needling.  Praise God for that, anyway.

Matthew 13:58 

And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

John 20:27-29 

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

And have mercy on those who doubt;

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