This week's Living by the Word column focuses on the story of the healing of Naaman the Aramean, one of the most dramatic healing stories in the Bible. But here I want to blog about a small detail of that story as it relates to the other lessons.
You may be better organized than I am, but in my overscheduled life, every once in a while I miss an appointment. Then comes the dreaded e-mail: “I have on my calendar that we were doing lunch today at noon. I looked for you, but didn’t see you. Call me . . .”
Growing up, I watched Saturday morning television cartoons in which a character was making a decision. On one shoulder an angel hovered, saying, "Do the right thing!" But on the other shoulder perched a devil urging the character to do the wrong thing. You already know what happened: as the angel looked increasingly anxious, the cartoon character chose to do the wrong thing.
Paul's Galatians didn't watch TV cartoons, but they probably had a similar model of decision making.
“I have decided to follow Jesus.” These words begin a well-known hymn, but for me they will always be about Gordon and Mary Cosby, cofounders of the Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. Gordon’s death on March 20, 2013, was not unexpected. He was 95 and had become frail. Knowing that he was dying, Gordon used the time to comfort coworkers, friends and neighbors.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).