Saturday, December 15, 2007


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Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
-Matthew 15:21-31, NKJV

The quote above involves a very famous episode in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Soon after he heals the Caananite woman's daughter, he feeds the masses (loaves and fishes), and his disciples are noting his miracle work. For me, as a Christian, this passage embodies healing. I had a physical healing this week regarding my neck, but I also got some balm for my soul after my final today.

My neck is feeling almost back to normal. It no longer hurts to swallow, and my range of motion is nearly 100% without pain. I'm wondering how much of this is the relief of being nearly done with finals, or the fact that I switched pillows and have been liberally applying cold packs and ingesting Advil.

As I was walking home from school this evening, the word healing came to me. We sat for our Contracts final this morning, repairing afterward to Friday's for debrief and humor. I was absolutely certain that I'd blown my final- I left the testing room 30 minutes early because I had nothing left to give or write, and I could not stand the oppression of sitting and waiting until time was called. I checked with the proctor, uploaded my exam and hightailed it to the student lounge, where I immediately blasted TATU and attempted to calm my nerves.

About 30 minutes later, Kate and Ric showed up, and we began to assess. This is the hardest part of finals for me; I hate rehashing what I did wrong, and realizing even more things I got wrong, and I try not to think so much about what ran through my brain during those three silent, regurgitative hours.

I wasn't the only one who thought the Contracts final was harder than we'd anticipated, but also that there weren't as many issues or problems as their could have been. My friends were my balm today; I could have easily lost my shit ten times over had I not had comrades to help me through.

Ric and I have managed to start a little tradition- we get our desks and computers set up, and I walk over to his spot (last row up, nearest the classroom door; I am in the third row on the opposite aisle) and we hug each other and wish each other good luck. Kate and I have sat next to each other during both of our finals; I don't doubt that we'll do so tomorrow as well. We wish each other good luck just as the tests are passed out.

At Friday's, we hung out with Adam, another friend from class who is fitting in well with our little tribe. Adam is, by all accounts, brilliant, and gifted at our subject matter. He singlehandedly talked us all through Civ Pro, and is lauded as the "Erie Doctrine Master" in our section; laying claim to knowing an arcane piece of civil procedure which prima facie, is simple, but becomes more and more complex the deeper one delves.

The subject turned to age, and Jon was thrilled to tears (quite literally, he got misty-eyed) to find that he was the youngest at the table (by 8 months, Sooz being the next oldest, then Kate, me, Adam and finally Ric, our elder statesman). Soon after we got onto our college majors (communications, psychology, business and French double, government, anthropology/women's studies double, English) and finally religion. I made the comment that on our side of the table we literally made a spectrum of religious thought, ranging from Adam (atheist) to Sooz (Buddhist/Unitarian leanings, grew up Methodist/UCC) to me (Roman Catholic by choice). Across the table we had Kate and Jon (good Minnesota hotdish Lutherans) and Ric, agnostic and recovering Christian).

I asked Adam how he would talk to his kids about religion when they finally asked him, and his answer was quite similar to anything I would tell the girl: people have different views, and it's up to you to decide what you want to believe.

It got me thinking about how our differences are brought to bear and yet, how similar we all really are. So much strife is caused in this world by people insisting that their way is the right way, and there's no other way. During the winter holidays, we all talk a good game, giving good wishes and with any luck, going out of our way to be kinder and gentler to each other.

I wonder if we did this on a daily basis, if we could set aside the differences, if we could simply accept each other for who we are instead of trying to continually press and push and insist upon fighting for superiority...if the world wouldn't heal itself, just a little bit.

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