Where Are the Healers? A Lament

heart balloon art

It is possible that moving to the country from the city was one of the worst decisions my family ever made. We moved from a place where my younger son was invited to so many birthday parties that I had to keep a closet stocked with last-minute gifts to a place where he managed to go through most of elementary school without being invited to a single one.

Of course, the fact that he has two sets of grandparents, three uncles, three aunts and three cousins here in our little town made up for it. Being surrounded by loving family can help to make up for the rejection of peers and even their parents.

Alas, this was my fantasy and not reality. No family member has taken much of an interest in my son — to the point where it simply wouldn’t matter where we live when it comes to his interactions with them.

Once the S disease showed its face, I noticed that it helped my son to be around people who distracted him from what was happening in his mind. Desperate, I became bold.

“Will you take Younger Son fishing with you the next time you go?” I asked one family member. “Why not include Younger Son the next time you decide to spend a day in (neighboring city). He would love that!” I suggested to another.

Nothing changed.

Next, I tried guilt.

“Why don’t you ever spend time with your grandson?” I asked my parents.

They didn’t fall for it. Nothing has changed.

More desperate still, I asked people at the house church I was attending. I said something like, “Younger Son really needs connections with other people, role models. Will someone consider taking him under their wing a bit?”

I wish I’d never asked that question. Coping with my grief over the lack of response has been difficult.

I have a friend who has a son who is emotionally disturbed. They don’t ask for help. I used to think this was perhaps prideful, but now realize it is probably realistic on their part.

Here’s the thing. There are any number of Christians who are happy to lay hands on my son and pray for him. I appreciate this. Prayer is powerful.

But.

When you pray for bonds to be broken and healing to take place, God often answers prayers. He is a miraculous God, and sometimes He does things in mysterious ways.

Often, though, He is quite practical. He uses the people in His church as his hands and feet to accomplish His goals. He uses their love.

He sent me and my son a friend who hugs my son. She includes him in some of her plans. She even buys him little gifts. There is now a third person in his life who demonstrably loves him.

I am thankful for this. Oh boy, am I thankful. I wonder though, what if even more people loved my son in a visible way? I know that love heals.

I’ve been reading the diary of George Fox, the man who inadvertently founded the Quakers — some of the few Christians in the United States who actively resisted the institution of slavery. Fox frequently went into the churches in England and asked “Where is your fruit?”

I relate to Fox, because that is just how I feel.

The fruit of Christians should be healing love and not rejection. What if every Christian in our communities welcomed someone who is hurting into his or her life? Can you imagine the difference this would make?

In my town of 30,000, there are probably 10,000 people who attend church. These folks diligently give to food banks, the homeless ministry and other worthy causes. There are so many volunteers at our homeless shelter that it is ridiculous — they hardly have any slots to squeeze new ones in. Yet when I drive past the homeless shelter, the homeless people are always sitting outside the building alone.

No one should ever be alone in the midst of Christians.

Oh what a difference we could make if we gave ourselves over to action to complement our belief.

The lovely print is available for sale on Etsy — click on photo.

The Dream That Transformed My Life

love and lightThere’s this person on my Facebook friend’s list who I never knew all that well, although he was a very close friend of my husband and some of our mutual friends. These days, though, I feel as though I know him much better, even though we haven’t exchanged a word in years.

About three years ago, this person’s life took a pretty bad turn, with addiction taking over his and his girlfriend’s lives. The girlfriend was pregnant, which made the situation particularly bad. My husband talked about his concerns a few times. My reaction was to condemn the guy, saying things like, “What a trashy life” and “that poor baby.” I am ashamed to admit I felt a degree of disdain.

One night, I dreamed this guy was dead. He was so dead that his face was green and moldering. His friends were so sad. They gathered around him and let him feel every bit of the love they had for him. That love came from God. The guy came back to life. He was glowing, happy, reborn.

I felt jealous of all the love this guy got — it was so powerful and transforming! God said to me, “Do you want to feel some of this love?” So for a moment, I stood under a literal shower of love and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt in my life — asleep or awake.

This was more than a feeling, though. It was powerful, alive, light. It woke me up.

It is worth selling everything for.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44

I found the treasure!

What’s more, the guy in my dream found it too. I had no idea, until my husband mentioned he had posted some stuff about God on Facebook. I sent him a friend request, and discovered that he has been healed of his addiction and is truly born again!

I love how God reprimanded me for my unloving, judgmental attitude in the most loving way imaginable. I am changed.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle, though. I sometimes still want to gossip and judge. I can relate to Paul’s struggle.

For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

There is no doubt in my mind we are in a spiritual battle.

I know who wins, though. Love conquers all.

Photo Credit: Ms. D. Meanor