[healing and prayers]

[healing and prayers]

I might’ve mentioned it before in some of my previous posts, but last Sunday the point once again glared at me during the sermon and… I just felt like I cannot just stand by.

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I hope my English-speaking friends forgive me for not translating that part of the sermon for them, but I just could not. With usual stuff, I can translate and distance myself from what I am saying, without showing what I feel about the issue. With sermons, however, it is a touchier subject. When I translate a sermon, I tend to infuse it with emotions, since it HAS emotions. I just cannot do an emotionless sermon translation.

Last Sunday, a guest pastor from another Church was preaching and I liked most of the sermon. There was one bit, however, when I sat, still and quiet, examining the colorful sandy mosaic of the sanctuary floor.

While talking about how we should have an active faith, the pastor shared a story about a girl from his Church who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Of course, the questions started coming to that girl’s mind, like “Why?” or “Why now?”… The pastor asked her whether she believes that God can heal her. She was sort of sure. “Do you believe that God can heal you through doctors and a surgery?” he asked her. “Yes.”

She had the surgery, the tumor was removed, and the tumor has not reappeared so far.

“God can heal people. If we have enough faith, He can do it even without the doctors. But He also uses doctors.”

I sat there, quietly processing the information in my mind, steeling myself against raising my hand up in the air and saying “Really?”

I do believe that God heals people. I do believe that He is omnipotent. That is not an issue for me. The issue is when people expect a certain kind of answer to their prayers, not just His answer. The issue is when people claim that it was because of your faith (or rather, lack of thereof) that you / your relative / friend / parent / child got sicker and sicker. You just did not believe enough. WHAT?! I have seen that statement wreck people’s faith. People who are dear to me. That was what got me on the topic in the very beginning – the stupid notion that God only gives us according to our faith. WE’D ALL BE DEAD BY NOW IF THAT WERE TRUE!!

The prayers for healing are the ones that especially claw at my mind. I personally know three people who have died from cancer. Different ages, different nationalities, common faith, common disease.

One was my aunt. She fought and we thought she won. Yet, after two years, she passed away. You bet we were all praying and believing that God heals her.

Another was an associate pastor from my Church. Diagnosed with a brain tumor quite suddenly, his disease history was a bit over 6 months. Entire Church was praying for him. He was relatively young, just in his mid-30s, a children’s surgeon (and a gifted one, from the accounts I’ve heard).

The third was a friend of mine, barely a year older than me. If anyone ever has inspired me to remain an optimist no matter what happens, that was Morgan. I read her blog at caringbridge.com/morgancyr, amazed and strangely encouraged – me, healthy gal, by a girl with cancer. She got married in the middle of her battle. Seemed like everything is going so great – the transplant went well, and she was getting better……………and then one day I got the e-mail that took three times to read to understand what happened.

Sorry for my ranting, but this has been inside for a long time.

Maybe some will pity me or say “She has no faith.” However, I cannot pray for healing. Or, let me put it another way, I do pray for healing, but I always try to keep in mind that God sometimes heals people in a different way than we expect – an eternal healing, where there’s no sickness or sorrow. That’s what death is, for me – an eternal healing.

Maybe my faith is, indeed, wounded. Perhaps, my un-fear of death is odd. I have been a misfit most of my life so far and I don’t think things will change in that area. However, this is what I believe.

  • Ian Kirk

    Your faith is not broken.

    I had a pastor tell my ministry class that it is first wiser to ask God for permission to pray for healing, before praying for healing. Faith should never be the question. EVER. The question should always be, how will God use this?

    You are absolutely right that God may not heal at all, or may heal in ways that are unexpected. Our faith should be in God's love, not God's healing.

  • zenichka

    thanks for the feedback and encouragement, Ian!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I can't imagine being a sermon translator. I've heard worse than this, and having to put it into a different language and assume a certain amount of agreement with it by saying it again would probably drive me to insanity.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with your perspective, IMO. Too many folks assume the "knowitall" position regarding faith like this, and I'm not a fan.

    • thankfully for me i wasn't translating up front (did that too a lot of times, but thankfully not that time)… i was just whispering the translation to a few friends of mine who sat next to me… otherwise that would be a BIG problem… for all involved.

      thanks for stopping by!

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