Last week, I was in a healing service at CCM Celebration, a week long family camp of the CCM. (CCM is Contemporary Christian Ministries, a ministry affiliated with the Community of Christ.) Many people were having healing experiences at this service: some emotional, some physical, some spiritual. There was a lot of prayer, tears, laughter, and yearning. I watched as ordinary people began to open up.
People have different views on healing and what healing really is. Personally, I’m not interested in openning up this debate, here. Suffice it to say, I’ve come to realize healing comes in many forms and in many ways. In the end, broken or not, in some way God sees us whole. The emotional, physical, and spiritual can’t be fully separated. That’s why healing is almost always a process, not a one-dimensional miracle. Any one aspect of our lives can be bruised, broken, absent or in need of healing. It need not be supernatural, though it can be.
At this service, a young lady realized she was aching. She had a lot of responsibilities at home, for younger siblings as well as for the adults in her life. Like many her age, it wasn’t the right arrangement for a young life longing to be a kid.
The worship environment was opening her up to feelings she didn’t usually feel, perhaps she didn’t realize she had. She felt alone, hurt, and frustrated. The service had unearthed buried needs.
Friends close to her wrapped their arms around her as she just wept. It had the signature of a kind of healing. Her heart, mind, and self-understanding were slowly opening up. As we sat together, just being present (because just being present is the most important aspect of finding healing), I watched as her friends and those who loved her listened, encouraged, prayed, and hurt with her. Out of nowhere, words came out of my mouth as if they weren’t my own, “In the Kingdom, some angels wear robes of flesh.” It was like revelation, describing exactly what I was witnessing.
When I was little, I used to be scared of the dark, ghosts, spirits, what have you. Yet, through childhood I also developed a nagging pain inside because of the heavy feelings that often haunted our house. My parents struggled valiantly for years, but finally divorced when I was about ten. There was a lot of helpless silence and unvoiced pain between them – psychological pain and heart-felt anguish that overflowed onto my brother and I. As a boy and first-born, I ached with my parents because my heart was wrapped up in them. In my helplessness to do anything, over years I began to rage inside. “If I ever get my hands on who’s causing this emptiness in my family…” I was waiting for a spiritual target for all the hurt and anger and helplessness I learned to carry. And, as I got older, it began mix with normal childhood fears. When I was alone, I began imagining that if a ghost or spirit came in the dark of the night to try to frighten me, boy I would let them have it…
…because I, too, am a spiritual being.
It was in those childhood experiences that I began to realize, in baby steps, the truth that came out of my mouth that evening at the healing service. “Some angels DO wear robes of flesh.” We are all spiritual beings – no less than the angels or spirits some experience or see. The difference is, we wear robes of flesh. And, in the right Spirit, God can use us to do miraculous things.
I think the power of worship, devotion, meditation, and spiritual discipline – but ultimately the Grace of God – opens us up to these possibilities: to be God’s emissaries. God’s healing hands, protectors, comforters, or voice of blessing.
Sometimes, it comes in the everyday experiences of friendship, kindness, embrace, or extraordinary vulnerability. And, other times, in the unique presence of the Holy Spirit, we are or become God’s own healing agents – fulfilling God’s deepest wishes. Justice. Love. Mercy. Healing.
The point is, everything is spiritual. Including you and me. There are times when I wonder if the arrival of God’s Kingdom on earth is simply a matter of perspective. Perhaps, that’s one way to hear the invitation of the incarnate one. Jesus was the presence of God’s reign among us. He said, “Believe in me.”