The Truth Needs So Little Rehearsal

2 Kings 5:1-14 (and a bit of Luke 10:1-11, 16-20)  – The 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time – for Sunday July 7, 2013

“His flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean…” (2 Kings 5:14)

Naaman takes the plunge . . . in a stained glass kind of way.
Naaman takes the plunge . . . in a stained glass kind of way.

This week, I’ll take a figurative swim with Naaman . . . once again*.

It’s so easy to take the plunge!

Or is it?

In II Kings 5:1-14, Elisha’s cure for Naaman, who longed to be rid of his leprosy, was apparently too easy for the “mighty warrior.” The prophet Elisha basically suggested what every physician and parent since Eve and Adam have encouraged:  take two aspirin, have plenty of fluids and get some rest. Of course, in this case, Elisha’s “plenty of fluids” meant hop in and out of the Jordan River seven times.

But Naaman felt slighted. Irked. He wanted personal attention. He preferred incantations, incense and other hoopla.

“Just try it,” Naaman’s servants urged.

It was only seven times in the Jordan. (Hey, Naaman, you can count that without using the fingers on both hands.)

Easy. Too easy?

I like what Barbara Kingsolver said in her novel, Animal Dreams:  “The truth needs so little rehearsal.” The truths of our lives, where we experience the deepest healings, and provide the most honest answers, are usually easy to explain. In general, I’m skeptical with long or convoluted explanations.

Way back in 2007, in the waning days of Bush II’s presidency, Dick Cheney made me skeptical—and nervous—with his interpretation that the Vice President’s office wasn’t part of the executive branch. That kept him, he claimed, exempt from sharing certain records. He had lengthy explanations for what he would not do. He sounded very irked. And to be fair to both irksome sides of the political aisle, Representative Henry Waxman (the Democratic chair of the House committee hounding Cheney) missiled an 8-page memo to the vice president with the congressional demands. No one was keeping any accusation brief or simple! Continue reading →