Broken made whole

 26 June 2021 |

Jesus did not heal the world of all illnesses. Although known widely as a healer, his use of this miraculous power was restricted to a few occasions; and we hear nothing of what happened to the sick person after being healed. Except perhaps for the one leper who returned to Jesus to give thanks for being healed. This individual was a Samaritan, and the story in Luke’s Gospel says no more than that. In John’s gospel Jesus calls Lazarus to come out of the grave three days after death had occurred and return to life, but to what kind of life we know nothing. 

The stories of healings are littered throughout the gospels but specify only individuals as being healed. Jesus’ power, the church believed, was not restricted but he exercised it in limited ways. But now the church sees the healing ministry as an important aspect of the task of God’s people. It causes huge problems for many Christians: what of the many who are not healed even though for some, their faith in Jesus is immense; when ‘healing’ is used to exert power over people, like the so called ‘healing’ of gay men and women, from their lived expression of their sexuality to a misguided denial of all that makes them who they are; and there are many tales of imposed illness that require dramatic healing seen where churches abuse people who they say have the devil in them.

For me, healing is about making whole that which has become broken. Sometimes that involves physical ailments but mostly its about the fractured lives created from inappropriate or restricted upbringing or abandonment, poverty, hardship and misdiagnosis. Learning to accept people as they are,welcoming and celebrating them, goes a long way to bringing about wholeness and in these terms, healing is truly life-giving.