As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you." (Psalms 41:4 NRSV)
Remember Annette Funicello? Many young men who were in their teens in the 1950's will confess they were in love with this dark-haired beauty who was on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As the most popular of the Mouseketeers, Funicello was the perfect peaches-and-cream portrait of adolescence. Later she made those light-hearted--and by today's standards very innocent--beach movies with Frankie Avalon.

Annette Funicello courageously stepped down from the pedestal of perfection in July 1992. This was five years after she had been diagnosed as suffering from multiple sclerosis. Going public with her disease was a great weight lifted from her shoulders, she says. She had feared her fans' reaction. Here is how she explains it: "I didn't go public for a long time because I believed people wanted to think that nothing bad ever happens to Annette..."

"Nothing bad ever happens to Annette." But bad things do happen. They happen to Annettes and to Annas and to Andrews and to Anthonys. When bad things happen, our call is to seek God's healing power, to be drawn close to the master's love, and to surround ourselves with Christian friends.

Dear Jesus, when bad things come my way, help me not to blame, but to seek God's healing love. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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