I hurt my neck somehow on Saturday evening and have been in a goodly amount of discomfort since then. Yesterday afternoon I took a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory and a pain pill and quickly fell asleep. A couple of hours later I woke up and felt like I was not connected: as an aunt of mine used to say I was in a fog. I took my dog Allie for a walk, and although I was physically functioning, I was not mentally present: this was truly an odd feeling for me.
As I was walking along a gentleman said something to me and Allie went over for a friendly hello. I looked up and saw an individual who was smiling at me and talking about the dog. I responded that yes she does love the water and then Allie and I kept on walking. About an hour later that man's face was still with me and I realized I knew him and that he knew me. He is a fellow priest in the diocese who is the rector of a parish in the southern peninsula of Maryland and who occasionally attends our Sunday evening Taize Eucharist. I feel just terrible that I didn't recognize him, that the chemically induced fog I was in made me so unresponsive.
I wonder if there is an analogy to the clearing of that chemically induced fogged mind to Jesus' multiple casting out of demons from people who were tormented by them, as we have in today's reading. I wonder if Jesus' actions in these types of healings was like lifting a fog not only from the individual cured but from the crowds around the healed individual. I wonder if these healings are similar to how a rising sun burns off the low lying fog that exists on golf courses some mornings.
I know I did not like that feeling of being so disconnected and would rather (I think) suffer the pain than be so numb to the world. Jesus modeled for us a way of being connected to the world, a way of lifting the fog that can make us see the world clearly: see the work that we need to do.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.