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Mar 11, 2011

Some thoughts about Healing by Rev Leanne


When I was a thirteen I was in church one morning listening to a woman tell the children’s talk. Right in the middle of the story she stopped and slumped forward. It took everyone a moment to realize that something was wrong.

Of course when they realized, there was a sudden rush to assist the woman and move her to another room. A couple of nurses started CPR and someone phoned for an ambulance. It was all quite bewildering to a thirteen year old. We were told that church was cancelled for the morning but we were invited to stay and pray. I don’t remember the actual prayers or for how long we prayed but I remember that we prayed for healing. Later that day my parents told me that the woman had died. She had left behind a husband and an eight week old baby. I spent years wondering why God had allowed that woman to die. 
Lately I have been thinking again about that event and how in some churches they pray with gusto for healing for all sorts of things. The trouble with having a less than fundamentalist faith is that at times we wish we could be a little more black and white about things. It would make life and faith so much simpler! Just sometimes it would be nice to be able to pray with the gusto and conviction of our neighbours down the street. 
I do believe God heals and I also believe that, at times, God doesn’t heal. I also believe that if healing doesn’t happen it is not because God is punishing us or teaching us a lesson. It is not the fault of the person in need of healing or those praying. It is just because healing doesn’t happen. 
Sometimes in ministry and in life I wish I had a magic wand that gave me the power to change things and grant people’s wishes. I’d love, as a minister to be able to offer prayers with guaranteed answers and 100% happy outcomes, especially prayers for healing or for babies, or addictions to be overcome or loneliness to vanish…and the list could go on and on… But I can’t. There are no guarantees. God is not at our command or beck and call. God is not there simply to grant wishes. The God we believe in will not be cornered or boxed by anyone. “I am who I am” said YHWH to Moses. “I am who I am” said God to a bewildered thirteen year old. “I am who I am” says God to us. 
If our faith is to grow then we must let God be God and we must trust that even in our bewilderment God is responding to us in love. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray. We pray believing that God knows the deepest desires of our hearts, our hopes and our dreams. We pray believing that no matter what life brings us, God is with us. 
Amen

March 11 2011

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