Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Fancy Handkerchief

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. Acts 19: 11-12

Today’s Reading: Psalms 10-12; Acts 19: 1-20

Wow… it’s been a while since I’ve hit on a magical mystical part of the scripture. I guess the whole Job thing was a bit of a downer. It’s all good though. Sometimes we gotta deal with the really real right?


But look at this one! Pieces of cloth that touch Paul are being taken to the sick for healing. It’s kinda cool to think that he could touch a handkerchief and it could be used in this way. But I wonder what the circumstances were. Did someone let Paul borrow his handkerchief while he was debating in the synagogue? Was he wiping his brow like one of them hot and sweaty Baptist preachers? What did the sick person think when that damp, sweaty mess of cloth was brought to him?

Sick Person: Don’t touch me with that mess.
Person with Handkerchief: But it’s Paul’s sweat on it.
Sick Person: I don’t are if it is Jesus’ sweat. That’s nasty.
Person with Handkerchief: Shut up and let me put this on you.
Sick Person: Over my dead body!
Person with Handkerchief: Ummm… well that is an option.
Sick Person: fine… but keep it away from my mouth.

Yeah, something like that.

What’s interesting is that this is commonly known as prayer by proxy. Someone who could not make it to the assembly of believers is sick. That person’s loved one comes and asks for healing for that person. Since the assembly cannot physically lay hands on the sick, they pray for an article or clothing, or pray for the sick person while touching the loved one. They then go to the sick person and lay hands on them, serving as the proxy for the original blessing.

Yeah it sounds hokey but stranger things have been proven to be true. If I didn’t know better I might be like the Sick Person above. Get that mess away from me!

But during this time of reading the Bible I have seen miracles happen. At this point I won’t categorically reject any of this stuff. Over and over again the theme of the impossible becoming possible has been drilled into us. All that is required is the proper measure of faith.

I think I can do that. Who knows… maybe I’ll try this in the future and come back to talk about it.

Plus, Paul was a regular person like you and me. We can do what he did right?



  1. Hello Clarence, first I'm just tickled by your depiction of sick people, its pretty accurate. However, I would imagine someone with this attitude just isn't sick enough. I believe some individuals are not desperate and don't want what God has for them bad enough. Even if its ugly and stinky, the way has been provided. Just receive it.

    And yes, God has give us that same power.

  2. I'd counter what you said in one way... regarding folk who are sick. They may be sick enough, but in denial of that sickness or unwilling to face that sickness to the point of ushering in death. But i feel you on your general point.


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