Andy Hunter

‘Leaping and Limping’

Based on - Mark Chapter 9: The Healing of the Demon-Possessed Boy

I have had difficulties with this text. The very theology confused me. Basically, I didn’t understand what the text was trying to say. As a young Christian I believed that there must be a very deep understanding in every character in the Bible, that understood the theology of the New Testament. This unnamed person seems to have missed the point. How can that be?

To me this must mean that some amazing deep truth of theology was on display here. It was hung up like a neon light in New York but I could not see it. The sort of thing everyone except me understood. It would be best not to admit this just in case you were seen as a theological underclass. This was a bit like being at school and not understanding a fundamental point in the simple process of long division and nodding that you were fine with the mathematical process and the teacher would move on.

This text however, paints a broader if not more confusing picture. ‘I believe, help me with my unbelief.’ You may as well say, I have won the race, help me with the winning. Or you could say I have done my homework, help me with my homework. I am cured, help with the curing. It doesn’t make real sense.

I have cancer. It is probably terminal, but not in a short term way. I could say I am cured, help me in the curing. This would not be in an ‘on-stage testimony kind of way’. This is more likely to be on a ‘daily walk’ kind of way. I would go to work with cancer in my blood and bones and love to work. I would enjoy people, colleagues and friends and arrive home with a sense of achievement that only life can bring in its fullness. I would love to arrive home to the ones that I love, knowing and in touch with this feeling. I can meet people at church that I love and care for and want to spend time with. This is life. This to me, is being cured. It means that I am alive, happy, working, being.

Having cancer can fade into being a label, until the chemo makes me feel ill or the steroids make me feel manic and rob me of sleep, but introduce me into a world of books and science that I was previously too tired to explore at 3.00 am in the morning. I am not a cancer sufferer but a person with cancer. Sometimes this is messy. This is the point of the text. For many of us we do get it, sometimes. Other times it is messy and we are not sure. We are not sure what is going on, what is going to happen next and how we are going to feel in the next situation that life throws at us. This is the reality in which we live. ‘I do believe, help me with my unbelief. ‘Like long division, this took me a long time to get to grips with. This is the point of the New Testament. It is,’ THE DECLARATION,’ of the king. The king has come and is kinging it, in his kingdom. The problem is that we only glimpse it, as it is a kingdom coming. This is the point - we get part of it and we can live in it. An increasing, growing kingdom that is here and will never disappear. Sometimes we are believing and walking. Sometimes our faith is strong and punching. Sometimes we need help. Sometimes it feels messy. Sometimes we are leaping and sometimes we are limping.

I believe, help me with my unbelief.