Not only did my church do a special music service on Sunday, but we also did a healing service. For this, those people who feel they are in need of healing of their souls, minds, or bodies (or who wish such healing for a loved one) can come up to the front, where people will pray with them about their problem and they can be anointed by the priest if they wish.
The very first service I attended at Grace Church happened to be a healing service, and I was intrigued from the start. It wasn’t like you see on televangelist shows, where it’s all very dramatic. (“Heal! I cast you out, demons!”) No, it was instead very quiet, very peaceful. The people receiving the healing may weep. But otherwise the only sound is the softly whispered prayers and the gentle music.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of healing a lot lately. Not only have I been spending a lot of time with a pre-med student friend of mine, but as part of my class I had to take an assessment of Spiritual Gifts. Now, I was expecting that the ones which would come out most strongly for me would be the ones a priest should have. The whole point of taking the class, after all, was because I was quite sure I was called to the priesthood. I was expecting gifts such as leadership, administration, and evangelism to be at the fore.
I was quite wrong. The ones which came out highest—with the highest possible scores, as a matter of fact—were healing, mercy, and encouragement. And so I was surprised. I described the test and my scores to a couple of friends who know me well. The consensus response was, “Well, yeah, of course you scored that way. That’s you.”
One who heals by faith should not expect dramatic miracles. My inner scientist balks quite thoroughly at such a thing. What the spiritual gift of healing means—at least to me—is that the healer helps the person calm their spirit and their mind so that medicine, biology, and God can all work together for physical healing most efficiently—or if it is the person’s time to pass on, the spiritual healer helps calm the spirit and mind so that the person can face that transition into the afterlife without fear.
There are shamanistic teachings of how people’s souls, minds, and bodies can become misaligned, and the shaman’s job is to help them align so that they may all work together as they should. This is also the task of the spiritual healer, to work in conjunction with traditional medicine, not in its place. A healed body without a healed soul can become a shell, open to being filled with darkness. A healed soul without a healed body is likely to leave and go wandering about the spirit realms. One is not much good without the other.