Well the topic of some sort of Jesus healing for my body as reared it’s ugly head again lately. Three different people from very different spheres of my life have offered to pray for me and my healing. Plus, the lectionary this week was of Jesus casting out demons and healing people just by touching them. So it once again is this confusing thing that’s stuck in my head that most times isn’t there but as of now it truly is.
I’ll start with processing the people randomly coming up to me to offer prayer. Of course they want to lay hands on me first, as that seems to help Jesus’ power flow from them into me. Then they pray that God would help me get up from my wheelchair and rid me of this Multiple Sclerosis once and for all. I can’t say I wouldn’t welcome that of course, but the reality is I have never seen it happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime. In all my years of being a Christian, which is all my years, I have never ever witnessed anyone getting up from a wheelchair after being prayed for for healing.
And so lately my response is either to say no to people offering to pray for me, or to say I will let you pray for my healing if you will let me pray for yours. Which often ends with a confusing look as to what I mean by saying that I would pray for their healing.
Well what I mean is that even though I am broken in body, you are broken in other ways for sure. Maybe mental health issues like depression. Maybe some other kind of invisible sickness. Whatever it is, everyone needs some sort of healing, as everything is not perfect for you. So yes, I will happily mutually pray for each other’s well-being, but I do not want to be your project.
I think that’s the part that’s bugging me the most lately. I’m some sort of project to be fixed. I am a less than whole, less than faithful person because of my illness.
One of the people that offered to pray for me had never even met me before. I know the church she comes from. I know that if I entered her church in my wheelchair they would flock to me like flies to shit. They would ring their hands and almost froth at the mouth that a project to fix has arrived. (Therefore, I will never enter her church)
That’s maybe not perfectly accurate but that’s certainly how I feel when I go to churches like that. I feel like they almost form a lottery as to who gets the privilege to come over and work on me. I hate it so much when people look at me with those compassionate eyes that say “I feel sorry for you but I’m here to offer you prayer that’s going to fix you.” Oh does that ever drive me crazy!
Anyways, thankfully I’m mature enough now to be able to waive that stuff off, for the most part. But every now and then, like now, it does get to me. Maybe because it’s happened so much lately.
And then I read these kinds of passages about Jesus healing people at will. And I can’t help but feel confused by it. I still do absolutely feel like God is bigger than Multiple Sclerosis and could heal me from this disease if God so chooses to do that. But that has not happened for me and I truly honestly haven’t seen it happen for anyone else. I’ve heard about people recovering from cancer and addiction and from all kinds of other diseases, and that being attributed to prayer. And I would never in a million years ever argue with that if that is how someone feels. But it does leave me to doubt whether or not it was prayer or medicine or willpower or whatever. The reality is that I’ve never seen an instantaneous thing where someone gets up from a wheelchair. So when I read about Jesus healing blind people or lame people or people with leprosy or even raising people from the dead, I don’t quite know what to do with that if I’m being honest.
All I really have been able to take from these kinds of passages is that this disease has led to all kinds of other healing in my life that would never have happened otherwise. I don’t think God caused me to have Multiple Sclerosis, but I do think God has used it in my life for my own inner healing and for the healing of others. And so even though right now I am annoyed by the charismatic healers among us, and even though I am confused by the passages of instant healing that Jesus does for people along the way, I still hold on to my faith that God is a God of healing and of justice and of peace.
And for now that faith will hopefully help me to avoid punching the healing prayer people in the face 🙂