This weekend I will be riding my bike 100 miles through the hills of central Virginia as part of the MS 150, a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. That means, among other things, no blogging this weekend. I would like to share the reason why I do this.
Before I became a Christian, I never assisted anybody with an illness or an injury, nor would it have ever occurred to me to do so. When I finally was on the verge of converting, I read the gospels and discovered numerous stories of Jesus healing people who were injured or ill, blind, lame, or crippled. Of course these are good stories, and of course even someone who disagrees with Christianity can endorse the feeling behind them. But what’s easy to miss is the long-term outcomes, since we never get to follow up on any of the individuals who were healed. Jesus not only eliminated their pain and restored their mobility, he also brought them back into society. Before meeting Him, they were isolated, either living among the tombs or stuck inside their homes, while current law required that people keep some distance away. When Jesus made their bodies whole, he also knocked down the barriers that separated them from others, thus helping to make communities whole as well.
I don’t know anybody who has multiple sclerosis, but I have met individuals through my church and elsewhere who are crippled or suffering from long-term illness. While we moderns may pride ourselves on dealing with these people better than the ancients did, the fact is that many of them still are isolated from society. Many still live in trailers, apartments, or ramshackle houses in out-of-the-way places, where the busy folks of mainstream society can safely ignore them. I now know more about these people and the way they live than I did even a year ago, and that is why I ride, to bring us one small step closer to the day when no one has multiple sclerosis.
If you would like to sponsor my ride, you can make a contribution by following the link below. One hundred percent of the money goes directly to services that help patients or to research. My name is Alex Popkin.