Paragoric for the Soul

Good morning, or evening….

Tony wrote this blog today, as explained below.  We’ve had another great week, leaving Israel, tired and full of inspiration.

Today finds us in Cyprus, so it’s only fitting that I talk about Barnabus: born and raised Cypriot, Church Father, missionary to the Gentiles, and friend and fellow worker with Paul the Apostle.

Together this dynamic duo traveled all over the land, bringing the Gospel and planting churches, sometimes accompanied by Barnabus’ cousin, John Mark. That fact led to a falling out between Paul and Barnabus in Acts 15 because of something J. M. had done. They parted company for awhile, but apparently were reconciled because the next time we see them mentioned is in Colossians 4:10. It’s a long story, but here’s the part that speaks to me today: we find Paul and John Mark, along with “fellow brother” Aristarcus together in prison, where Paul describes them as a “comfort”.

The Greek word there for comfort is “paragorea”. Sound familiar? That’s where we get the word for “paragoric”. How many of you older readers can recall a time when your mother gave you a spoonful of that foul-smelling, worst tasting medicine? It was awful, but looking back, you’ll have to admit, it made you feel better.

The reference is especially meaningful to me today, because Marsha and I both have come down with the screaming banshee, head-bashing cold from the Other Side. It’s not often that we both get so incapacitated at the same time, and let me tell ya, it puts a damper on your travel plans! But God is good as always, and we find ourselves parked for four days in a rather tired yet quaint hotel with nothing we have to do, and nothing much of note to sight see in Cyprus, so we can just be miserable together. I’m so thankful this hit us now, and not next week, when we’ll be hard at it in Singapore, trying to introduce the Anagaion program to Japanese churches there.

And I’m so thankful that I have a little Paragoric here at my side. She’s as sick as I am and therefore not worth much, in terms of running at my beck and call, but she’s exactly what I need as I am hopefully what she needs right now: a comfort.

We leave tonight for a few days in Beiruit.  We’re excited about the sights there and hopefully we can finally see the “Cedars of Lebanon”, provided either Solomon or the war didn’t get them all!

Thanks for praying for us.  We’re flying standby from Beiruit to Singapore, so would appreciate getting on that flight!

Love you all, Marsha

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