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I was thinking the other day about how we are back in Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary again–what I call “the Luke year.” I was sort of sorry to see Year B–“the Mark year”–come to an end, because Mark is my favorite Gospel, but I’m grateful that we dovetail Mark with Luke. It seems altogether fitting that we follow Mark’s Jesus–a very emotionally human, but somewhat exasperated glimpse of Jesus–with the healing Jesus we encounter in Luke. That sequence reminds me of myself at times–irritated, exasperated, occasionally short-tempered and volcanically cross–but then I so often take a deep breath and see the healing that comes. My own “coming to a point of understanding” moves from someone more like Mark’s Jesus to Luke’s Jesus.

So in that sense, I am also ready for the Year B to Year C transition again. To spit out my anger and irritation and simply listen and allow healing, for all the various slings and arrows of whatever issues graced my previous year.

It got me to thinking about all the times in any of our lives where we suddenly noticed “healing” occurred. It hardly seems that healing is a “conscious condition.” It so often happens under the radar, and when it is noticed, it’s a little more like what Sammy Hagar sings in Van Halen’s “Love Walks in”…

And then you sense a change
Nothin’ feels the same
All your dreams are strange
Love
comes walkin’ in
Some kind of alien
Waits for the opening
Simply pulls a string
Love comes walkin’ in

Somewhere, sometime, when we weren’t looking, Divine Love “came walkin’ in.” We only discover it in retrospect, when something happened that made us realize “We’re handling it differently.” Perhaps it is manifested in a moment that previously triggered our chest to tighten with the familiar feel of post-traumatic stress. It might be in a moment when we are re-telling a story that reminded us of how we had been profoundly hurt, and when we have finished the story, we recognize the telling of it was painless. Maybe we enter a physical place where we used to feel our “hackles” rise every time we entered, and we didn’t even feel a twinge on the back of our neck.

It’s the psychological equivalent of those moments post-surgery when we suddenly realize our scar doesn’t hurt anymore, or those times after a virus when the fever breaks and we say, “Wow, I feel pretty good!”

But the fact remains that somewhere, in our healing process, Divine Love came walking in, cleaned up a few odds and ends, and simply sat down in our living rooms to watch TV. Many times, it happens at points where it doesn’t feel like any sort of “healing” at all. We generally don’t get the luxury of “instant healing” that we see Jesus doing in Luke, but we do often get the moment of “instant recognition” of where Divine Love snuck in on her little cat feet and healed us.

That’s the other magical thing about the way Divine Love heals. She doesn’t do a hit and run. She remains in the house as our family member, so long as we simply acknowledge her presence and thank her for helping around the house.

Have you ever noticed one of the first places Divine Love walks in, is often at the time we are least capable of consciously manipulating the system–our sleeping habits? When we hurt, whether it’s psychological or physical, we don’t sleep in our normal patterns. We may not sleep as soundly, or we wake up at odd times. We have trouble falling asleep or back to sleep. Our dream life becomes weird or scary, or just plain shuts down and we become “dream impacted” with sleep becoming a glimpse of the darkness of a death without God.

But often, before we even recognize our own moments of healing, something starts happening in our sleep life. To borrow from the opening two verses of Psalm 126, we become “like those who dream,” and our waking mouth becomes filled with laughter, and our tongues become more joyful. Things that had stopped being funny are funny again. Something that normally might not scratch our funny bone suddenly becomes so comical we can’t stop laughing. These moments of joy and laughter are reflexive–we are not trying to be happy or make ourselves laugh. But it all was preceded by the ability to dream again, and the ability to daydream.

What I invite you to do in the beginning of Year C in the Lectionary is to simply hear the Gospel stories in Luke with an ear to the healing within them. Take whatever has been damaged over Years A and B, and simply lay it on the altar and let the healing stories of Luke marinate them. Just be sure to notice when Divine Love comes walkin’ in.

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