A whole LOT has occurred since June 11 2011, which I've just seen was my last post. Since then I've attained an MA in Religion, Science and Ethics: Philosophical Approaches, moved into the beating heart of the Hague (or rather the contorted upper lip that is the wealthy Statenkwartier area) and progressed a fair amount with my Dutch. Nu kan ik een biedtje Nederlands gelesen en mijn liefelings Nederlands vehaal is over een Beer en een Aap! Oh yeah, and I've become an Nanny to four wonderful children. [There is much more that could be inserted here, but those few facts will serve as the headlines to bring us up to speed.]
I'm back on the blogosphere, not because Dutch life has become a bore and driven me into ego-centric cyber activity, but because it has been brought to my attention that my initial fervour for adventure has become dimmed over the last five months or so. I'm more integrated in Dutch life than I was then, but this integration has been accompanied by a kind of apathy when it comes to "stepping out" for God. I think that's in part a fair assessment of my predicament - I've become a little comfortable and thus less Kingdom-focused. But that's only half of the story. The other reason is perhaps that I spent the best part of last year writing my MA thesis on supernatural healing. My attempts at objective, academic scrutiny and investigation were insightful, enthralling, but at the same time exasperating and a little bit painful. It was a long and laborous task (20,000 words!) that left me dampened and confused, and as a result I hung up my coat and thought it easier not to dwell on the topic anymore.
You know what though? As much as I have tried to ignore the topic of healing and praying for it in Jesus' name, there's been an underlying nagging for some time and a desire that I would get back on it in terms of praying for people - friends and randoms alike. Well, I've sulked and been bitter, but after a few recent challenges from some super people - I've decided that rather than agonise over the specifics and unanswerables of Christian healing theology, I could just give it a shot and be taught by "doing it" again, rather than theorizing. So I've said to God, that in an attempt to heal myself from the hurt and disorientation that writing my thesis has caused, that I will commit to praying for someone for healing every day for 30 days. (I'm going to blog about it daily to make sure I do it). God, please show me your heart for healing as I actually start praying for people again and see what happens.
April 17 2012, 7.17pm: I'm cycling to my church small group and I'm thinking today is almost up. Who can I pray for God? Come on, I'm available and I'm up for praying for someone. I park my bike outside my friend's house and am thinking, "I hope someone from small group needs prayer, because my options are eradicating by the second". And then, just as I park up my bike I see two (slighty shady-looking) Asian blokes walk past. One is hobbling - or is he strutting? - hard to tell. Right, what the heck, I'm gonna just do this.
They look at me. "Sprek je Engels?".
Damn. I'm gonna have to do this in Dutch. I string a mock-Dutch sentence together, which can't make much grammatical sense and the fellas must hear something like, "I am Christian. Is your leg pain? Can I pray for you? I have prayed seen people better become. Can I pray now for leg you?" The guy looks perplexed. He says that his leg is in pain and am I wanting to pray for him at home? I tell him that I mean to pray for him now, but he refuses the offer, so I ask his name and then assure him that I will pray for him when I get home. I wish them "fijn avond" (fine evening) and awkwardly shift a metre away to the front door of my friend. They walk past me seconds later and say "dank je wel" and there's an air of deep gratitude, mingled with "what a weirdo" in his voice.