12 July 2016

Updating Jesus – Health and Wealth

Greetings Dear Reader,

Long ago when I was in college I did some work as a nurse’s aid.  I worked for a company that sent you to homes to provide care for those who were ill.   I would determine if a nurse needed to call and do attended after care. 

I was sent to the home of a man how had dementia to check on the injuries he sustained from a fall.   What I saw that day has etched into my heart and mind the difference between following Christ and the modern myths of Jesus that no one should accept.

As I approached the door I could hear a sound that usually thrills my soul.  I heard gospel music and two women saying things like “yes Jesus” and “Praise you Jesus”.  As I rang the bell I smiled and prayed that I would be able to help the man.  I was thankful that I could be a part of caring for this man.

The first thing I noticed when one of the women opened the door was the smell.  The smell was old garbage.  The house was in complete disarray except for the couch in front of the TV.  The song ended and the woman still on the couch let out a loud “Praise you Jesus.”   A TV preacher who later was the focus of some serious scandal replaced the young beautiful singer.

The woman who had answered the door led me to the room where my patient was resting.  She stopped at the door without entering the room.  The room was spotless because it was barren.  There was a dresser with pictures of the man younger and in uniform.  There war medals that told the tale of a wounded hero. 

On the bed lay the man.  He was laughing softly and called me George.  My name is not George.  He needed to be bathed so I prepped a bed bath for him.  The women were both back on the couch listening to the sermon on TV.

The man pointed toward the water glass on his small bed-side table.  I went to the kitchen to get him some water.  The garbage smell was a double sink full of dirty dishes, rotting food, and cockroaches.   I filled a glass of water for the man and gagged back my reflex and my anger. 

When I returned to the bedroom the man greeted me with a friendly “Hi George.”  I prepped the bed bath and went to remove the man’s t-shirt.  To my anger and horror baby cockroaches skittered down the man.   I moved him to the chai in the room, cleaned and dressed him, and called the state welfare agency. 

What I later learned were the man’s daughters were content to watch someone tell them about the modern health and wealth “gospel”.  They would rather do that than clean the vermin from their ailing father. 

This corruption of who Jesus is and what he has for us angers me every time I encounter it.  We are called to care for the needs of others as followers of Jesus.  I am very sure that the TV is not where that happens. The man got the help he needed and I was able to see him a few other times.  He always called me George.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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