Mark 6:53-56 states that all who touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment were healed, regardless of the disease. While this might imply some sort of magic or supernaturalism, the point of this passage is that God responds to every situation of pain and illness, whether of mind, body, spirit, or relationships. God seeks abundant life for all of us, and perhaps just a little faith, touching the fringe of Christ’s garment, can transform our lives.
Our faith is not omnipotent – not everyone with great faith is cured, nor is illness the result of lack of faith. Rather, faith opens us up to healing energies that might not be present if we did not place our confidence in God. Faith opens us to deeper dimensions of reality in which God and others can be more active on our behalf.
Here we must again distinguish between “healing” and “curing.” Curing involves a change in our physical condition. Healing involves the whole person, most especially our relationship with God and our trust that nothing, not even sickness, unemployment, or death, can separate us from the love of God. From this perspective, a person can be cured but not be healed, that is, still be fearful and estranged from God despite their good health; on the other hand, a person can be healed, at peace and confident in God’s care even if there is no hope for physical recovery.
I trust that in all things God is working for good.
God seeks health for me and my loved ones.
My faith transforms my life.
Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, healing companion, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of nineteen books, including Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living; God’s Touch: Faith, Wholeness, and the Healing Miracles of Jesus; and Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. He has taught at Georgetown University, Wesley Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is currently theologian in residence at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His most recent book Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed will be released in May 2011. He can be reached for lectures, seminars, and retreats at firstname.lastname@example.org