Jesus and the Woman with a Nose Bunion
I have a nose bunion. Sexy, I know. The actual layman’s term is a “spur,” but when the doctor described how he’s going to remove it, he said, “So we’ll shave it down, like a bunion.” Nice.
Just to be clear, it’s on the inside of my nose, and is causing significant obstruction to my right nasal passage.
This surgery is the culmination of a full year and a half of doctors appointments, trial and error, imaging, sinus endoscopies, and so many nasal sprays. I presented with allergy-like symptoms-sneezing, congestion, post-nasal drip, etc. I went to an allergist who said it was probably reflux. She sent me to an ENT who said it definitely wasn’t reflux, did a blood test, and said that it was probably all due to my egg white allergy. Even though I didn’t eat a lot of eggs, he swore that if I just cut out egg whites, I would stop sneezing.
ENT number two is one of the best in the city. He did all sorts of tests and looked around my nose. His diagnosis, which cost me around seven-hundred glorious dollars, was that my nose didn’t like air, that there was nothing to be done except manage my symptoms.
That night, I remembered something a friend had said about her brother’s deviated septum causing the symptoms I had. I did bring this up as a possible cause for my symptoms, but Dr. best-in-the-city said that was absolutely not it. I went straight to CVS and bought some breathe-rite strips, extra strength.
I put one on before I went to bed and it was life-changing. THERE IS SO MUCH AIR IN THE WORLD. Funny how oxygen is actually important.
I have been operating with a baseline that is below what it should be. But I didn’t realize, and couldn’t even answer many of the doctors’ questions accurately because I didn’t know how much my breathing was obstructed.
Not only that, but it put many of the issues I had when singing and exercising into a new light.
ENT number three, Dr. Scott Kessler, of whom I will sing the praises until the day I die, gave me a for real diagnosis. He listened to me, and knew how to ask questions in a way that he could determine what is “normal” for me. He explained the combination of issues that were causing problems, gave me concrete steps to take and information to read, then said he would text me in a few days to see if I noticed a difference yet.
It all led to this moment, Tuesday, June 19, when I will have my nose bunion shaved down.
There are so many Bible stories I could whip out to drive home my point… let’s go with the dude at the pool of Bethesda. You’ll find this story in John 5.
So Jesus goes up to this specific dude who had been an invalid for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS, aka most of his life, and Jesus asks, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)
The dude is like Ummmm why do you think I’m lying here, man… because of the view? That’s my translation… He literally says, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (verse 7). Basically this dude is operating under the assumption that there is a way for him to get well, it’s just based on local legend, which said that if the water moved, the first person into the pool would be healed. So all these sick people just laid around, waiting for this water to stir so they could get better.
Note: The verses that detail this legend are left out of some manuscripts, so that’s a fun thing.
Jesus showed this man that there was another way… that Jesus was the way. Jesus had a new normal for this man-a man who presumably knew no other life than that of a crippled man in Biblical times.
There’s a whole other point to be made in this story about the fact that Jesus commanded the man to pick up his mat on the Sabbath, which was strictly forbidden, and the dude did it, because Jesus just walked around with that kind of authority. There’s also the instantaneous anatomic reconstruction of atrophied muscles that makes me geek out, but that’s for another blog post…
Our bodies and spirits are designed to adapt to living in a broken world, but Jesus provides us with a better normal for our everyday lives. He invites us to be part of the restoration of creation-beginning with our very selves and extending outward. But it requires us to recognize what is not well, and, spiritually, the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1-2).
You never know, you might be missing LITERALLY HALF OF THE OXYGEN YOU SHOULD BE GETTING and not even realize it… just off the top of my head. Maybe Jesus will be your spiritual Breathe-rite strip (too far? I’m a sucker for a good/moderately adequate metaphor).
btw sin and physical ailments are NOT the same or linked by causality… we’re speaking in metaphors here, people. The link and imagery Jesus makes between the two is a matter for yet another post.