Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Nature of Healing

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
                                            James 5:13-16  King James Version

When you talk to theologians, healing is usually equated with “wholeness”.  It can be part of liturgies or services of healing that include scripture about God’s love and responses to the suffering of his children.  It is sometimes associated with rituals of anointing with oil.

My best understanding of healing is what most of us have experienced either as a recipient or a provider.  When as children we first endure injuries or pain, we usually need a hug of reassurance as well as a “kiss to make it better”!   We are reassured and we do feel better and soon we are back playing with a colorful bandaid as evidence of the injury.  
I think this is what happens in the healing ministries of the church.   God reaches down and gives us hugs and kisses with and through the love and concern of the community of faith.  He then anoints us with the promise of His continuing presence.   

Thanks be to God for His healing prescription.



Post: The Mystery of Healing - 4/17/11
Sulmasy DP.  Spirituality, religion, and clinical care. Chest.  135(6):1634-42, 2009 July

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healing Presence

“Presence” at Tenwek, Africa 2012

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (The Message)

I did understand that “presence” was a critical ingredient of healing.  What I didn’t understand that  “being present” for extended periods is very difficult and painful.  As physicians, we are known to “come and go”, but we are most effective when we stop and sit!  How does that change the patient and healer?   

According to St. Paul, we are part of the healing story when we are present and share the pain.   According to scripture, the good news is that we also become part of the healing.  What is also obvious, but often missed, is that healing is not a “solo” experience, but one that is shared with community, just as God shared his son.   

The experience in Africa has taught me that healing is not about them, it is about us!  We have been and are healed by a God of us all.  Thanks for sending Bwana Yesu to show us your healing presence.



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