I have allergies, and with allergies comes congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and a number of other symptoms. What I find curious is that the medicine I take for my allergies only treats the symptoms, not the actual cause of the symptoms - the allergies themselves.
The reality is that we all have "allergies" that affect our lives. Call it sin, call it brokenness, call it whatever you want. The fact is you and I are not fully the people we were created to be.
For many of us, the depth of our sin/brokenness/whatever is layers deep and yet we're often only able to see the "symptoms" that express themselves everyday. [Sidenote: I wonder how many of our conflicts with others are the result of us not knowing what allergies we have. Fifty, seventy, ninety percent?]
I'm beginning to think that we spend too much of our time and resources trying to cure the symptoms of our allergies when in reality what we need is a cure for our allergies themselves.
In Luke's rendition of the story of Jesus, we read about an encounter Jesus has with a crippled woman (Luke 13:10). Jesus, completely unprovoked, speaks to the woman and tells her that she is set free from her infirmity. He then places his hands on her and what happens? The crippled woman straightens her back and praises God. From the woman's perspective, her symptom is cured - she's no longer crippled!
Jesus' perspective is a bit different, however. There is a much deeper work going on. Jesus wants to cure her allergy. In fact, when approached about his healing of the woman (vs 14-16), Jesus doesn't even mention her symptom (her crippled condition). Rather, he describes his healing of the woman as one that released her from her captivity to Satan. Whoa! Now that's a serious cure!
Was the woman aware of her captivity? Who knows? What we do know is that Jesus is interested in healing allergies, not just the symptoms of allergies. And beyond that, Jesus' words and touch are able to heal.
What would it look like for you and I to expose ourselves to the healing words and touch of Jesus? What would it look like for the church, the body of Jesus here and now, to embrace people using words and physical touch for the sake of healing their allergies?
My prayer is that you will become increasingly aware of your allergies and that Jesus will heal them. I also pray that you will go and join Jesus in healing the allergies of others, whatever they might be.