Shades of Ghrei

Some say gray is “light black”. Others say it’s “dark white”. I say that gray is not the skin-color you want when you’re born.

Because apparently, that’s the (non) color I was when I came out of my mother’s womb. Of course, I was there. I don’t remember it though. My dad would tell me this story growing up. Living in a suburb of Dallas, I came into the world in 1983. My mother, exhausted from the parturition, looks down and asks him “how is he?” To which he responds, (belying his horror at my lack of “human” coloring) “Oh, he’s fine.” Knowing full well that, without a miracle, I wouldn’t make it. He follows me into the neonatal unit and after I was hooked up to the various and essential equipment, very inauspiciously lays his hand on my leg and says, “be healed in Jesus’ name”. Or something to that effect. The doctors decide then, to take me into Dallas, to a larger hospital, one with a pediatric facility better equipped to help me. On the way there, my mom’s pediatrician sat next to my dad in the car, politely informing him of the benefits of insurance, its necessity, etc. My dad felt like punching him, praying to God that he’d shut up. After arriving and settling in, my dad decides to call the church they were attending, needing prayer. The line was busy. No big deal. He hung up with a heavy heart. Moments passed and he called again. This time, God spoke to his heart and said “I’ve healed your son.” He hung up with his heart at peace. Shortly thereafter, a young doctor emerged from the double-doors of the neonatal unit. She says: “we don’t understand it. You’re son’s out of the woods.” And the rest is history. I find it interesting, without reading too much into it, how my dad would touch my thigh and God would heal me. And when God touched Jacob’s thigh, it crippled him for life. That’s kind of a gray area for me.

“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jeremiah 8:22)

As an aside, in the comic “Ultimate Iron Man”, Tony Stark, the main character, is born screaming. It’s because he’s hyper-sensitive and has neural-tissue (gray-matter) growing throughout his entire body. His father, Howard, comes into the room and rubs a strange blue liquid all over baby Tony which instantly calms him down. One of the things he does as the story progresses, aside from eventually becoming Iron Man, of course, is learn to shut out the ever-present pain that comes with being so smart. Science-fiction, you so crazy. I know an older couple, very sweet. Apparently, he was born blue and she, with her fiery red hair, was severely jaundiced (yellow). A full spectrum!

I live in the Northwest. It rains, maybe more often than it should, but I don’t mind. When the sky grows overcast and gunmetal gray, anymore, instead of pining for the sun, I feel a welcome insulation. Like a giant comforter has been thrown over the sky. The rain is a welcome side-effect.

“Ghrei-“, however, is the Indo-European root for “Christ”. It essentially means “to rub”. The same root gives rise to “cream” and “grime”. And while the Indo-European root for “Christ” is different than “gray” (“gh(e)r”- “to shine”), I do find a parallel in the two. See, Jesus is the one who healed me (the “Great Physician”), the one who suffered on my behalf so that I even could receive something as impossible as a full healing at birth (the first pediatrician didn’t know if I’d live, if I did, I’d be a “vegetable”). There’s much debate over why God heals some and not others. I look at those who have terminal illnesses and recurring side-effects from illnesses past and I have nothing but love and compassion. Some want it, others are fine without it. And there have been times in my life where I would have preferred that God would have taken me then. “The spirit of a man can sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14) Any contention or clashing over the subject of supernatural healing should be neither here, nor there. I find this to be a strong point of tension amidst the body of Christ and a source of derision from those who aren’t Christian.

I met a man one day who—after I’d told him this story, ending with the caveat I was supposed to die when I was born—told me: “If you were supposed to die, you’d have died.” So, I guess it’s either black or white… The thing is, healing (internal/external) has been made possible by Jesus. Ask Him for it and don’t doubt. You’ll be put through the paces, but your faith will be rewarded.

“But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. (Matthew 9:13)

“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24, emphasis mine)

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5 thoughts on “Shades of Ghrei

  1. Awesome post, man! I know I haven’t commented in a while. The shame is on me, but I always love reading your stuff. Congrats on the completion!

  2. Perhaps the examples of physical healing we read about in the scriptures are partly to serve as illustrations of the emotional and spiritual healing that Christ’s suffering offers us. And for those who question the seeming randomness of such miracles – how can we know the reasons for why God heals some (physically) and not others? His ways are “higher than” our ways. It’s not really for us to know. It’s kind of naive for those you mention to use that as evidence of such miracles being merely believers’ fantasy. We all have the opportunity to be healed in the ways that last – emotionally and spiritually. The only qualification is our desire – like the brass serpent in the wilderness. Some won’t do it if it seems too easy or improbable.

    Interesting and gently-spoken thoughts.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I waited a year to tell this story, not for any other reason than I didn’t quite know how to couch it, what terms to use. To my mind, there are far-greater breaches in the body (of Christ) that need patching up (spiritual/emotional healing, well put) than simply a denominational and doctrinally-specific niggling over ‘physical healing’. If the love’s not there, as Andrae Crouch says, “that don’t mean a thing”. God bless you.

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