Proclaim the good news where you go

By Vinal Van Benthem | For The Compass | December 11, 2019

There’s a box on the counter near the entrance to my bank where people can deposit used eyeglasses. The Lions’ Club collects the glasses and distributes them to people who can’t afford to pay for them. And “the blind regain their sight.”

When one of my neighbors had knee replacement surgery her doctor ordered physical therapy during her stay in the hospital and for several weeks thereafter at a local rehab facility. Her therapists taught her how to use crutches, navigate stairs and participate in other mundane tasks until she was able to return to her normal activities. And “the lame walk.”

My friend’s son-in-law suffers from psoriasis. For years he was too embarrassed to wear shorts or even short sleeve shirts in public. Last year his doctor told him about a new drug – still somewhat experimental – that he thought might help. Now his skin is clear and last summer, for the first time in years, he went swimming with his kids in their hotel pool while they were on vacation. And “lepers are cleansed.”

Jess works at the local junior college with students who, for one reason or another, have dropped out of school, but are now ready to return. Greg was 17 and in his junior year when he quit school, too busy partying to care whether he ever got his diploma. It was around the time that he got his second DUI that he started to “get it.” Without a license he couldn’t drive his friends around, so they dropped him; his girlfriend left him for another guy; and his folks kicked him out of the house and changed the locks. That was when one of the few friends he had left invited him to talk with Jess. Now Greg’s getting his GED and preparing to start college courses at the start of the New Year. And “the dead are raised.”

“Go and tell John what you hear and see.” Jesus sends many messengers. They proclaim the good news in places where we least expect them. “[A]re you the one …?” “What did you go out to see?”

Van Benthem is a longtime pastoral minister in the diocese.

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