Monday, May 18, 2009

Bring healing

I recently had a friend tell me they were awakened from their sleep to the question, "What are the spiritual needs of the people?" I think that is a very powerful thing God must be doing in their life.

For several days I pondered the question myself, and really had no clue as to an answer. But this morning I was reading Brennan Manning's book 'The Furious Longing of God' and beginning on p. 81 he talks of healing. This seemed to connect a few dots.

Manning related a story where someone asked him, since he had opportunity to travel so much and visit college campuses and churches and whatnot, what he felt the Spirit of God was saying to the American church. He responded by saying...
...if there's one thing I hear with growing clarity, it's that God is calling each and every Christian to personally participate in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

On p.82 he clarifies a bit. He says,
Healing becomes the opportunity to pass off to another human being what I have received from the Lord Jesus; namely His unconditional acceptance of me as I am, not as I should be. He loves me whether in a state of grace or disgrace, whether I live up to the lofty expectations of His gospel or I don't. He comes to me where I live and loves me as I am.

When I have passed that same reality on to another human being, the result most often has been the inner healing of their heart through the touch of my affirmation. To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary.

He links this to Philippians 4:8: "Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise." (CEV)

He shares several real-life illustrations of this healing love, and also from Don Quixote and his treatment of Aldonsa/Dulcinea (which, btw, is where I must have picked up on calling my dear, My Lady). And on p.101 I'm not sure if he's quoting Scripture or Don Quixote, but he says,
The past is over and done. We all stumble on the way to maturity. We all look for love in the wrong arms, happiness in the wrong places. But out of it, you've become real. You've got a heart of immense compassion for the brokenness of others. You are utterly incapable of hypocrisy, and I am deeply in love with you.

Hmm... Just imagine God himself saying this to you. How does that make you feel?

I'm not too proud to admit that I need much healing. Perhaps the way to find it is in being a healer myself. It would seem hard to argue that acceptance, affirmation, and love are not what people need most. I know I do.

Ready... go.