Monday, September 15, 2014

Healing Q&A

if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, 
if any comfort from his love, 
if any common sharing in the Spirit, 
if any tenderness and compassion, 
then make my joy complete
 by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)

If you have had a recent interaction with the healthcare system, you may have experienced an encounter where you respond by filling out a survey, providing a list of medications and/or helping someone “filling in” a computer screen.  One question you may have to respond to is “Do you have any health beliefs that may interfere with your health care?”  

I need to confess that I have been part of this reality that can ask the wrong question as well as hide physicians (and others) behind the technology.   What if the technology helped us ask “better questions” or helped us “listen better” to the answers? 

We know that the patient’s story and it’s telling is a primary care response.  What we also know is that our faith communities help us all to tell our stories and can be a community that listens.  It is a place where we can ask the healing questions and provide that primary care that is too easily lost in our anonymous and lonely planet.

What if the questions were, “Is your faith important for us to understand during your treatment?” or “Will your faith community be part of your care?”.   What if the answer was that your church is a critical part of your care and your healing faith?



Hage, M. L., & Brouwer, D. (2013). Becoming a (Healing) Agent of Jesus. Retrieved from

Shuman, J., & Volck, B. M. D. (2006). Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life) (1 ed.). Brazos Press

Koenig HG. The spiritual history. Southern Medical Journal.  99(10):1159-60, 2006 Oct

Mueller PS.  Plevak DJ.  Rummans TA. Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: implications for clinical practice. [Review] [147 refs] Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  76(12):1225-35, 2001 Dec.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Arc of Healing

“A New Day Promise” at Lake Michigan

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, 
and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  
Genesis 9:13 New International Version (NIV)

“It is a strange glory, the glory of this God.” — 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, London Sermon, 1933

It is easy to get caught up in the 24 hour news cycle and recycle that leads us to a belief in the triumph of destruction and suffering in the world!  Can we still believe in the Genesis promise that destruction will not win and that wholeness will prevail?

When I hear the word “healing”, I usually find a deeper and more complex story.  It takes time to listen and understand the nuances.  Many times it is story of forgiveness.  Sometimes it is a story of resistance in the face of evil. 

I recently finished the book by Charles Marsh, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  It is not just a story his life, but a record of complex events that made his life a testimony to a “strange glory”.  What was central is a deep belief that recognizes the sovereignty of God even in the most difficult times!  What is divine is how his testimony continues to bring healing and  gives us courage to live faithfully in a broken world. 

We can sing along with John McCutcheon “Alleluia, The Great Storm is Over” and claim the promises of a faithful God.



Marsh, Charles (2014-04-29). Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (p. 2). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
Hage, M. L. (2013). Resistance/Resilience. Retrieved from