Friday, February 24, 2012

The Journey 54: Transformation in the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 2:1-12
Key Verse: “ Which is easier; to say to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven or to say get up and take your mat and walk”. [ Mark 2: 10]

                          “Silent Hospitals Help Healing”. This was a strange news item that caught my attention. Montefiore Medical Center in New York has started a program called Silent Hospitals Help Healing (SHHH), to address one of the biggest complaints patients have about hospitals:  they are too noisy. According to the hospital sources "Noise is not only an irritant, but an obstacle to healing,".   "Studies have shown a relationship between excessive noise and a slowing of the healing process.  Noise also contributes to increasing stress and anxiety." Where do these noise come from?. People who visited the hospital were least concerned about the needs of the patient and due to this hospital became the hub of all sorts of sounds and noises.  Carts that had squeqy wheels, mobile phones ringing, people talking loudly in the hallways even late at night, as staff delivered medications, televisions blaring, hospital alarms, and the announcements on the public address system.   They all were causing a major irritant to the sick and the suffering in the hospital. The basic objective of the SHHH was to give patients a quieter environment in which to receive care and to take the needs of the patients seriously.  The effects of SHHH were remarkable.  Within two weeks, patients slept better, and staff said they felt less stressed.  Now other hospitals are also taking interest in the SHHH program. A hospital who brings in change and innovations so that the needs of the sick in the  hospital is taken seriously and the care given is qualitative and thus bringing about healing.
                           On  Friday’s we meditate on how we can bring transformation in the life of the sick and the suffering people. The passage that we are using for our meditation is from the Gospel of Mark 2:1-12.   This is one miracle where we find the magnamity of the owner of the house, and also the faithfulness of the lame man’s friend. But here in this miracle we also find Jesus condemning a group of people– the teachers of the law. On one hand you have a group of people who go all out of their way so that the lame man is given help leading to healing, but on the other hand you have this group of people– the teachers of the law, standing not only as mute witness and silent bystanders but also harboring feelings against Jesus Christ for healing that man, through the forgiveness of his sins. Why did they have to protest like this? This was because they were the teachers of the law and hence they felt that only they had the authority to interpret the books of the law. Their role all through these years, was just blind interpretation of the law without taking into consideration the needs of the suffering humanity.  What a suffering humanity needs today are not  people and community who would study and make a research on the suffering that they undergo but be more sensitive to their needs.  We are people who are often bystanders to the suffering of others basically because we are only interested in how we can find means to satisfy our selfish  needs  even when others suffer. Transformation in the life of the sick and the suffering begins when the people and the community of faith cross the line of being bystanders and consciously be a channel of healing in the life of the suffering people. That is what the friends of the lame man and also the owner of the house did, while the teachers of the law did not do. Hence let us evaluate this day whether our attitudes and our perception of life borders on “Just be Bystander”, thus being a stumbling block in the life of the suffering humanity.
Where do you stand when you see another person suffering?-With them or on the sides?
Don’t be a bystander.
Let us Pray: Dear God we are sorry that many a times we remain as bystanders in life, least concerned on what the others go through or suffer. Forgive us and make us more active so that we become channels of your grace.