Healing is an interesting topic. Many Pentecostals, Charismatics and other strains of Christian thought and belief believe that healing is part of the Good News of Jesus. And in the other camp there is a diverse range of opinion that God in his mercy may heal through prayer and so its a hit and or miss and others believe that God no longer heals today and therefore we shouldn’t pray for our own or others healing.
The subject of healing is one that is close to my heart. I have experienced much personal healing. Physical, emotional, spiritual and mental over the course of my Christian experience. And I have also experienced the heartache from when the heavens seem silent, God is distant and ignoring my plight. Within this framework of experience I have received good pastoral care and some real shocking pastoral care. So bad was my experience of the bad pastoral care that I would turn and run (well hobble) as fast as I could from any who wanted to pray for me and expect God to heal me.
I’m taking a college elective this semester on the subject of healing. Like I did for my previous classes, I will be blogging regularly my weekly reflections, thoughts and assignments on this topic. I will share some of my personal experiences of healing, both for myself and for others. I will share the good, the bad and the plain downright ugly. And from here, I hope to develop more of a Biblical theology of what do the Scriptures say about healing. In the course of developing this theology, I also want to formulate a good pastoral framework in how we can care for not only those who are sick and in need of healing; but also ourselves and keep within good pastoral care boundaries.
During our class discussion last night about is it God’s intention to heal us or not it was pointed out that in the beginning we were made in the image of God, and that God’s creation was good. It’s agreed that sickness, disease, and injury are all part of the fall. What struck me as pertinent to the conversation is that though our bodies and communities are subject to the fall, God’s goodness remains in our bodies through the fact that the body continues to regenerate itself. I have to admit that I have never thought of this point before. Most of us experience the fact that the body will instantly begin the process of healing and repairing the wound if we are to cut ourselves. Our bodies have a built in mechanism that will start the fight against colds and flus, bugs, sickness and disease. And this process is not one that is unique for ourselves, its one that is common throughout all of creation. If you cut a tree or a plant, it starts the regeneration healing process. The same happens to animals and again the same happens to the earth and the sea. Wound it, and it starts its healing processes.
No matter our theological conviction on the subject of healing, most of us yearn for healing. None of us like being sick and in pain. None of us enjoy the journey of the decay, destruction and ultimately death that our bodies suffer. And could it be that this yearning stems from deep within our spiritual and physical DNA that in the beginning we were created in the image of God and that creation was perfectly good. And therefore could this yearning for healing come out of a deep desire for communion with God once again, for things to be as they were once again.