Thursday, August 27, 2015

“I feel the healing hands of God touch my heart and kiss my soul through others hands.” -- Harley King

If you read “Elmer Gantry” by Sinclair Lewis (or watch the movie) and watch the movie (no book) “Leap of Faith” with Steve Martin, you can easily understand why faith healing has such a bad name.  It has always had a bad name as even Jesus warned his disciples against it.  The society in which Jesus taught and lived was filled with phony faith healers. All through history people's faith has been perverted to put money into false teacher's pockets.   And yet, and yet, Jesus and the disciples all did faith healing and not just by their own faith or the faith of the one who was suffering but on one memorable occasion, Jesus healed a man because of the faith of his friends (the man lowered through the roof).  When I was younger I wanted to have the ability to heal with a touch.  I wanted to fix broken legs, give sight to the blind, and to make cancer go away with just a touch of my hand.  It didn’t happen, of course, but it made me ignore for many years the true power of healing by touch and prayer.  In the book of James, the author asks if there are sick among them and if so then the other members of the church should anoint and lay hands on them—and not the pastor or preacher but the lay people.  The power of healing by touch and prayer is not the purview of the ordained but the believer.  I have felt this power.  I have had many believers put their hands on me and pray for me.  I have been a part of a body of believers laying hands on another and praying for them.  Every time I go to a church here, at the end of the service, the ill and hurting come forward to have hands laid on them (and not just mine) to bring the healing power of God to them.  I used to think that if the injury didn’t immediately heal, it was all a sham and false, but it is the heart and soul that need the healing, the body is second in line.  Bringing the healing of the Holy Spirit to the spirit of the one suffering is a truly God-given gift.  A gift that is given to every believer.  It is sullied and stained by the Elmer Gantrys and televangelists of this world, but the power to heal with a touch is a true thing, a real thing, a holy thing that is not to be discounted.  I knew a woman whose husband was dying of cancer and she paid a lot of money to have an infamous faith healer come and lay hands on her husband.  It didn’t work, and the man died although the faith healer kept the money.  Later, the woman told me that she had a dream and saw her husband whole and healthy again, playing tennis as he used to love to do.  Then, she said, she understood that his true healing came from being with God and it had been selfish of her to try to prolong his suffering here.  She was very wise.  I know that when my hands are on a leper in one of our churches, the healing that comes does not come from my hands but from God.  I’m not the water—just the hose.  We are all hoses, or pipes, or conduits for the power of the Holy Spirit if we will but lend our hands and hearts to this holy task.  If there are those who need your touch and prayers, please give them as they were given to you—in love and as a gift from God.

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