The Gift of Healing
The Lord promised to heal people’s waywardness and to love them freely (Hos 14:4). God was going to restore their health and heal their wounds (Jer 30:17). A Dutch Catholic priest, professor and theologian Henri Nouwen (1932–1996) wrote, “Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” Undoubtedly people can do many small things to be these miraculous gifts to others. This means we don’t have to do big things to see great results. Small ones are just as important.
Growth is essential when giving love. This comes in different forms with abundant meanings. Max de Pree (b. 1924), a businessman and writer said, “We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” These lasting transformations are known in various ways. When they contribute to growth and understanding, healing takes place. These manifestations often take time, and ought not to be rushed. People should persevere in doing good works.
A vice president of the United States, Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978) wrote, “The greatest healing therapy is friendship.” It’s ideal to have good friendships. They enable us to interact freely, explain our personal concerns, and solve problems. Good friends are able to give us honest opinions. These are free gifts that bring joy to our hearts. In times of worry their words soothe us bringing us comfort and hope.
These benefits are from people who appreciate us for who we really are. They know our faults and accept us as blessings. An Indian spiritual master Sai Baba (1835–1918) said, “Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” With love a healing balm encompasses us. People come to know their brothers and sisters care about what they do, and count on them for support. Such attributes nurture their welfare.
People do hear good and bad things about religion. But author and literary critic Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011) views were positive. He believed, “Religion is part of the human make-up. It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, and our first attempt at philosophy.” People who are healed attribute these phenomena to their beliefs in a loving God. Hitchens saw religion not only as important but having far-reaching consequences. Many believers become recipients of these blessings that shape their lives for the better.