Sunday, October 23, 2011

Confessions of a Christian Healer

When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” ~Matthew 9:28-29

I have been bit apprehensive of writing about this on my blog. I must have started this post or one like it a dozen times only to delete it. Perhaps it was not time. Perhaps I was not ready. Perhaps coming forth to tell of my gift will be encouraging to others with similar God-given gifts that we tend to hide or hold back. Perhaps the time for holding back now must end. Perhaps it is time to come out of the prayer closet and use God's gifts openly. I just do not know, as this is the question I now have before my Lord myself.

When I first became a Christian at the age of eleven, I asked my Lord to be a healer. I understood a bit about suffering because I had been abused by my father and I had a strong desire towards easing the suffering of others. To me, at that time, there was no gift as miraculous as healing.

About 25 years later, I was given that gift...well, actually, my Lord told me quite clearly during the last day of a twelve-day fast that He had already given me that gift when I asked for it again at that time. He reminded me of the first time I had asked it of Him. Not doubting Him that I had it since I was eleven, although I was, at best, only vaguely aware for those years, I suggested that the gift did not come with a manual and I needed some help in knowing how to use it. It was at that moment I felt a very physical change come over me and it did not take but a few hours of being around people to understand what had changed for me. I realized unquestionably I had been given the gift of empathy and I suppose that was my "manual" as to how help people in the best way.

No, empathy is not a "named" gift in the Bible, but when you read how the healers knew what was wrong with a person, it is there nonetheless. Some of my Christian brothers and sisters feel more comfortable calling it the gift of knowledge. I call it empathy because I can physically, emotionally, and spiritually feel what is wrong with someone as if I stepped into their skin. I quite keenly can feel their pain. I cannot diagnosis a medical condition by name, but I can pinpoint pain, or a distressed organ, or location of disease.

I can also feel emotional imbalances and even identify one's sin to a degree--Yeah, people tend get a bit unnerved when they know about that one. Moreover, I can tell if someone truly is Christian or not, which some would say is impossible as only God knows, to which I reply if God knows He apparently being God can let it be known to whomever He wishes also. Some would say this falls under word of knowledge, or word of wisdom, or discernment, so I am comfortable with someone calling it whatever makes him comfortable--it just is what it is.

Now, imagine, if you can, talking with a friend over the phone and developing a headache, not knowing if it is your own, or the person to whom you are speaking, or another person or animal near you, or someone else who just happens to be on your mind or was mentioned in the conversation. Yeah, it gets pretty confusing and sometimes just plain overwhelming. Obviously, I prefer small groups of people and one-to-one conversations.

When I asked to be a healer, I did not think that it would have a downside. Like Paul's thorn in the flesh which he endure thankfully when the Lord would not take it from him, I have been thankful for my empathy even when I have been doubled up on my knees in excruciating pain the moment I touched a woman with stomach cancer as her own pain was alleviated, or plunged into an abysmal despairing depression as I was praying over a woman who was told she had breast cancer, which was healed at the same time. Sometimes I am spared the pain and feel nothing or a mere shadow of it, but most of the time I share it in some manner for a short time. I appreciate it, because it keeps me humbled having taste of their suffering, the reality of suffering is inescapable to me for everyone needs healing at some level of their being, but the more acute is what I notice foremost.

Of all the things that I have experience in the last fifteen years with this gift, my greatest struggles and my most painful afflictions have been with my Christian brothers and sisters.

  • I had a pastor tell me that the empathy is not a gift from God, because it was not named in the Bible. Which suggests he believed that it is coming from where or whom...Satan?
  • I have had a friend of ten years, one who had been healed through it several times and believed in healing, later write to me that that I was doing was too far removed from her beliefs because only Jesus is the Great Physician, and I was floored by this hypocrisy coming from a practicing chiropractor. After reading the letter, even my husband, who is far less sensitive than I, also felt I had just been accused of practicing witchcraft. She also had ended our friendship abruptly...that was about twelve years ago now.
  • I had missionary friends specifically ask me not to pray for the wife who had badly twisted her ankle, just before we arrived for a visit, because they did not believe that healing could come from one layperson. They quoted James 5:14. "Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." When I mentioned the apostles? "Well, those were the apostles, but WE are to do it as stated in James." Then they gave me a book on spiritual warfare in concern for me, which mostly covered demonization of Christians.
  • I had a new friend who was then considering homeschooling and our daughters quickly became best friends. Once when we were in the park together, she was healed from a wasp sting to which she is highly allergic. She also had been trying to get pregnant for five years and I had a dream of her being pregnant several months after we met. About two months later she was pregnant, but soon afterward I began feeling something from the unborn child. I believed the pregnancy would go well, but that the baby might have a learning disability like dyslexia, as the father did, and I suggested that we pray about it. Right afterward, due to other obligations, we were out of touch for a few weeks, but when our schedules were to be cleared she did not return my calls. One day I found a handwritten note in my mailbox from her stating that such information could not come from God and to never contact her again. Not only did I lose a friend, but this time my daughter was hurt as well.

Needless to say, I am rather cautious, even reluctant, about helping people even when I know, without a doubt, I have been led to do so specifically. Just because I have the leading does not mean it goes smoothly or easily. I have spent countless hours in fasting prayers trying to make sure my heart was right with God, asking Him to take anything not of Him away, and to show me what I am suppose to believe and do. I try not to think about what it has cost me, but I am human and my feelings do get hurt. Recently, a well-meaning friend said that I take it too personally and I am not so sure how I cannot take it personally. I practically "wear" people which is quite personal, try to help them as far as they are willing, and many times I am later avoided or insulted for such efforts.

There is more downside to this than a bruised feeling now and then. There are also people who begin to rely on me to be healed of everything. There are times that a person is not healed in the way he expects as not all are instantaneous and he doubts more than me but also the church or God. Although I know it is not my fault, as I do not control how the healing will happen, I cannot help but think of the scripture that warns against causing a brother to stumble and that I did not use my empathy well to meet them at their faith level.

In my experience, I would say when Jesus said a person was healed by his faith, there is pure honesty in that, but people often mistake their desperation and need for faith. Some people do not receive because they did not ask their Lord or they asked but did not believe. I have felt people hinder the healing they desire. I have come to believe that being empathic helps me to understand how to meet them at their faith level so that they will more readily receive healing.

Still, I confess that having the gift of healing does not make me an expert at it. I do not understand much of it myself. While I know the why I should use it, who needs it, and mostly how to do it (hopefully how I should do it), I still struggle with the when and where of using it. Do I offer? Do I wait to be asked? Do I wait for the prayer invitation from the pastor or leader of the group? Do I just pray at home for all those who need it? If I make church members uncomfortable with this, will they leave our church? If the person is not healed, will he blame God especially when he has seen others healed?

The healing itself is straightforward, but it has all these complications surrounding it. Remarkably to me, some Christians do not believe in healing as it was done in the Bible. Perhaps because medicine has advanced so much they feel it is unnecessary. There are times I think that science has not served mankind well, because it is so adept at not only denying God's existence but also removing the need of Him as well.

When I was just a girl, healing may have been the greatest gift to me because I needed healing myself or was it that God wanted me to have a heart for healing because that was my purpose in His plan and all that I endured was in preparation for that? These kinds of questions always intrigue me. I probably will continue to write about other aspects of healing from time to time now that I have broken my blog silence on the subject.

I want you to know that if you are in need of healing, you may let me know in the comments or by email.

~ My Lord, I know this is but one step out from my struggle towards the purpose You have for this gift. I will not ask that you guard my heart against attacks when people resist what You would so graciously give, but that I am in agreement with Your heart and that You will be my strength to endure what comes, mine and my family. ~

2 comments:

  1. Bravo! Bravo! I know how much courage it took to write about this. MAy the Lord Himself guide you, bless you & comfort you as you do those good works he has prepared ahead of time for you to do. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ganeida, we have a very similar difficulty. I have a thought for you to consider also which was for myself first: We are who we are in entirety. If we hide away that portion of which is the outpouring of the Spirit, we are not who God has purposed us to be and we deny holiness. We cannot withhold that which was given or separate it from ourselves once we have it. It is personal and it is the Lord's and it has been given with purpose.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.