James Tissot (1836-1902)
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, dyslexia, migraine, alcoholism, glaucoma, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness: affliction is a part of the human condition.
Through no fault of our own, our genes and bodies and minds have been wired for our particular afflictions. And while we may seek mainstream medical solutions and traditional therapies to help us cope, some afflictions don’t go away.
Afflictions do not make us unworthy of God’s love, or “less than” as human persons. We are made in the image of God’s love and goodness—and nothing can change that.
Our most important work is not to figure out why we are afflicted, but to reach out in humility to touch the Lord and ask for compassion and healing in whatever form they may manifest: mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Mark 5:25-29