March 31

Good morning!  It’s the last day of March, can ya believe it?

Today’s scripture:MARK 10:46-52

46They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Yesterday I spent the day at OHSU (Oregon Health and Sciences) with Betty (my roommate) as she participated further in a medical trial for Parkinson’s.  We got to the hospital at 9:30am (ish) and walked out of the doors at 4pm.  This medical trial is pretty amazing really.  It is a 5 year trail (she is celebrating her one year anniversary with this visit) in which they measure her bio markers along the way.  This is a Michael J. Fox trial and so it is thorough and the details are taken care of plus OHSU is pretty incredible too.  Thursday morning Betty had a spinal tap because it is the closest thing we have to collecting brain fluid.  She gets one every 6 months.  And then yesterday she participated in a process where she is injected with this radioactive kind of drug.  In 3 hours, it highlights parts of her brain to show where the dopamine is in her brain.  There is a window of time where the stuff shows up and then it leaves her system.  They scan her brain and she is instantly useful to science.  This happens once a year so they can track the process in her brain and compare with her biomarkers.
Now with that all said, I got to hang out and people watch a ton at this incredible hospital.  If you have never been, I have to tell you a bit about it.  OHSU is a teaching hospital but it is also a place with incredible brilliance. So there are students, world known researchers, and amazing doctors all walking around.  In addition, OHSU is connected to Doernbechers Children’s Hospital and the VA in Oregon.  You can walk from hospital to hospital over these amazing bridges in the air.  And all around are these hang out spots that are incredible.  There are cafes that are small and intimate, coffee stands, and in each hospital a really great lounge area. The artwork that is displayed all over is beautiful.  Plus there are all kinds of people around for care.  AND there is a sky tram from the bottom of the hill to the top (this is the picture above).
Spending all day there yesterday really got me to thinking about care, healing and all sorts of people.  We started our day in one lounge that hand an incredible view while we waited for the first appointment.  Then we went to another part of the hospital to start Betty’s process.  Then we walked to another part of the hospital for her to be injected with this stuff.  We then had 3 hours of waiting.  We ate lunch and observed people.  We had heard that the children’s hospital waiting area is really cool so we went there to read, watch, chat, wait AND they have the Starbucks in the place.  So we drank Starbucks while we waited.   Have you had a moment to pause and wait lately?  Talk a moment now….
So many different locations and I watched all sorts of people deal with different levels of care and overall healing processes.  I overheard a woman talk about how her son was flung from a tractor and was flown to this location. They are just glad that her son has the best care and he will heal.  Another family was waiting for their kiddo to get out of surgery…and there will be healing.  We watched as doctors fed themselves and talked about their days in healing.  This is all pretty miraculous.  I also watched as Betty was dealing with this disease that won’t be cured but her overall care and healing is extremely well cared for and she wants to contribute to future healing through this trial.  A miracle for sure.
All of this to say that maybe today’s story of someone crying out for care is not so off of the mark and perhaps Jesus looking at someone to actually care is the ultimate miracle here.  Jesus pays attention, listens, and asks what is up.  I am sure that that moment is more than the blind man had ever dreamed of and then he walks away able to see!  Miracle of all miracles.  We all have those moments of needing to be recognized and healed in some way…mental, physical, something in our souls….what is your need for healing?
Today please take a moment to pray for those in need of healing, whatever that place of healing might be. Please lift up the many who funnel through OHSU and hold them for a bit for whatever is going on.  Send your love and light to those in healing professions that their hands may be guided and hearts open to receive those coming to them. Amen.

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