Tag Archives: death

What does it mean to be healed?

Lost in the woods

I started my day off with some great conversation with a friend at Hypnotic Donuts.

Tough questions and tough topics.

Like what does it really mean to be healed? If we ask God for healing, what should we expect?

It’s tough because for many of us who live with serious ongoing health struggles, our doctors may tell us that there is no cure. Just management. Does God heal those kinds of things? And if we ask God to heal us and nothing happens, what does that mean? Was our faith not strong enough?

Or does healing mean acceptance of our ailments and illnesses? Learning to live and cope with them? Discover the gifts in them?

I believe God heals people… but not always in the same way. Healing can happen through relationships, a sense of hope, or peace. Healing can be forgiveness and reconciliation. Healing can be physical, mental, and/or spiritual. I have seen prayer work in people’s lives. Do I always understand how it does? Of course, not. People can get stronger when they are surrounded in prayer and love by their family and friends. People also find permission to let go and complete their life’s journey through prayer. All of that can be healing.

In Gerald May’s book, Addiction & Grace, he flips the script on addictions and brokenness. After recognizing that we humans can never achieve a state of perfection, no matter how hard we try, we must see “that the incompleteness within us, our personal insufficiency, does not make us unacceptable in God’s eyes.” We are wounded but that woundedness does not make us unlovable. In fact, we can think of our inadequacies “as doorways through which the power of grace can enter our lives.”

Maybe that is a better definition of healing – being reminded, through our places of weakness and pain, that we are loved, just as we are.

Peace be to those who yearn for healing – may we all know God’s love this day and each day.

Good Friday

I enjoy reading Naked Pastor’s blog. His cartoons/comics/art always make me think. Today, he reflects on Good Friday with a bit of a grin.

At its most basic, Good Friday was a dark day when a leader and friend was unjustly sentenced to execution for living out and speaking for a different kind of society and world. He was killed by a system that was good at stamping out threats. He was killed by his own people’s insensitivity or inability to see what was in front of them. He was killed by a crowd whipped up in a frenzy. He was killed by us, humanity, all of us.

It is a dark day… and yet, the light that peeks in comes from the realization that even in someone’s death, life can emerge. This man’s death was not the final word. The movement didn’t end. Something else happened.

Journey in the darkness now. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.

Preparing for Good Friday

Good Friday is the darkest day of the church year. On this day, we recognize that Jesus was tortured and finally nailed to a cross, where he died a miserable, lonely death. Even according to the Gospel accounts, there were not many people gathered there to witness this painful, excruciating form of execution – maybe a few guards, some curious onlookers, and a handful of family and friends.

Jesus was abandoned.

Think about the despair he must have felt. Abandoned by his disciples. Abandoned by the crowds who had once supported him. Abandoned even by God, leading him to cry out in those final moments – “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

Perhaps fittingly, Good Friday is not the most popular day on our church calendar. It’s depressing. It’s dark. There are no hallelujahs. There are no praise songs. We often cover the table and the cross in black cloth. We sit in silence, in the emptiness of our lives, and wait with Jesus as he struggles to even take breath.

Theologians suggest, over and over, that God presents to the people in the Bible choices between life and death. Do you choose the things of this world that bring death, or do you choose to find the new life even in the midst of the darkness? (I love this video by Walter Brueggemann that lays this out rather clearly.) In other words, how can we have Easter without Good Friday? How can we celebrate and praise God unless we have gone through the pit, the fire, and the darkness that comes as part of life?

Take a moment today to reflect on that question, and be with Jesus on the cross.

Maybe Easter will feel a little different on Sunday in return.
Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com


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