A World and a People in Need of Healing

A World and a People in Need of Healing January 2, 2013
© Contactgt | Dreamstime Stock Photos
© Contactgt | Dreamstime Stock Photos

We need therapy.  We need deep, freedom-giving healing.

Why?  Well, let’s take a quick look at a few current situations.

•   The usual political “I want to get re-elected at all costs and I don’t care what happens to ordinary people who don’t load me up with campaign contributions” maneuvering continues in our nation’s capital.

•   The health care system accelerates its out-of-control spiral, making decent health care less and less accessible to any but the exceedingly rich and lucky and a misery to dedicated practicing physicians and other health care professionals.

•   As we continue to seek healing from the Newtown, CT, massacre, hundreds of other innocents have been shot and killed by privately owned guns.

•   Women in much of the world live in fear of marauding bands of feral males who think it right and fun to torture, violate and destroy them while male police benignly look the other direction.

Is all lost?  Are we doomed to a more violent, less caring, more fearful future?

I don’t think so.

Why?  Simply because all the awfulness taking place has always taken place BUT there is one huge difference now:  hardly anything can be hidden today.  Thanks to the free press and simply astounding technology, everyone can know everything quickly.  Sin and evil are being outed.

Healing begins with seeing and speaking truth about sin, brokenness, cruelty, corruption, greed. Keeping things hidden, cut off from light and air, increases corruption and decay and encourages evil.

But when we face things openly and let the light shine on the darkness, the light will overcome the darkness.

That’s the nature of light.  It always wins.  Darkness can’t overtake it.

Consider the word, “therapeutic.”   The root meaning is to heal, to make free.

When we enter therapy of any kind, we seek freedom.  Healing and freedom are inextricably linked together.

We cannot be free from sin and still be bound by it.  We heal when we are set free from it.

We cannot heal from cruelty or greed when we stay stuck in patterns that encourage more cruelty and greed.  We heal when we seek to set ourselves and others free from such patterns.

In this sense, God is the great Therapist:  a person seeking to love God and love neighbor can only do so when such a one becomes free from stuckness in unloving patterns and habits.  That’s the nature of salvation.

All of us are in need of therapists, whether we spell “Therapist” with a capital or a lower-case letter.  We find freedom in the presence of those who are trained in the healing arts, be they physical, mental, political, social, or spiritual.

Therapy takes many forms.  It can take the form of lighthearted play and laughter, trained listening ears, hugs and tears, medical interventions, prayers by those gifted in that discipline, cooks who provide food which nourishes the body, wise people who can see big pictures and bring correction to misaligned paths and poorly made decisions, spiritual leaders who can help expose sin and release the power of forgiveness and reconnection.

All need healers in our lives.  Nothing and no one is exempt from this need. No one and nothing, including larger political and social systems, will be set free without willingness to shed light on darkness and engage in healing acts.  That’s what therapists do.

Sometimes freedom appears spontaneously, one of those serendipitous moments that just happen in this mysterious world held together by the power of Holy Love.  However, most healing therapy is intentional and scheduled.   We need to set aside time to  seek truth and freedom, and do so with those who have therapeutic expertise in the correct areas.

The world needs therapists.  You and I need them.  Let’s make 2013 the year to see our truths, both individual and corporate, name our sins, find our healing and get free.

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  • Vicki Attaway

    Therapy only leads to healing if you participate in it, if you really want it, if you make good use of the strength of the people and the world around you. I am glad you have opened your readers up to the broad-spectrum possibilities of healing—it happens in so many ways under so many circumstances with the help of so many types of therapy. Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that I can make use of more than one type of therapy. Maybe I can be a “therapist” too.

  • Interesting. Every person needs healing of some sort. — particularly those who deny their need for therapy, healing, forgiveness, etc.

    I have never seen your blog before. I suspect that this was forwarded to me by a UMC deacon whom I know but no longer correspond with.

  • aliceny

    After re-reading your very pertinent posting here, I’m adding a second comment. I am paraphrsing a little:

    The point that you make about the ‘awfulness taking place…’ no longer being hidden but being exposed by our instantaneous electronic, visual, and sometimes very graphic media is an important point to make. I have thought about that same thing for some time.

    A case in point is the savage massacre of twenty-six persons in Newtown CT. From what I’ve been reading online and in newspapers, the whole country seemed for a short time to be affected by some sort of emotional paralysis. I know I was. Regardless of the mental state of the young killer, we have to name that action for what it is — pure sin instigated by demonic powers.

    At times our minds become saturated by seeing and hearing about such evil in our society – and in the world. I feel powerless. I pray, of course, but that doesn’t seem to quell the feelings of being overpowered by the presence of evil among us. Yes, of course, therapists fulfill a need and most well-trained ones try to be effective in leading their clients to some type of resolution and subsequent healing. But we have to strike at the root causes of evil in our society. Any ideas?

    • Thank you for thinking about this. I am in agreement with you about the Newtown massacre: it was an act of pure evil, exacerbated I am guessing by under-treated mental instability on the part of the perpetrator.

      How do we address this? I still stay light will overtake the darkness–and more people are going to have to be willing to live in the light. Most of us have multiple, dark hidden areas in our lives that we would prefer never to expose to others. As long as that is acceptable, real transformation cannot take place. As the Wesleyan covenant prayer says, “Christ will have all of us or He will have none of us.”

      Evil wins when people chose self-protection, silence and fear over courage and acts of true righteousness. That’s how the Stalins and Hitlers came to power and stayed in power. But think about the transformations that came from people like Martin Luther King, and many of his followers who chose to face death and to do so peacefully so that others might live. That is how these things change. It takes a lot of guts to stay in the light. But it can be done.

      • Thank you, Rev. Thomas, for your speedy reply.

        All that you say IS true. But, for some, it is very, very, difficult to stay in the light in today’s world with all of the distractions. For me, it is prayer, reading what others who are in the light have to say and, most importantly, being part of a faith community.

        Thanks again. Looking forward to your new posts.

        • Yes, it is extremely difficult to actually live as Christians. That’s part of the problem: we exist in a world where everything is supposed to be easy and quick, but this is a long and difficult process.

  • Vicki Attaway

    Many people say “I am who I am, I am what I am,” and that’s that. There is no desire or felt need to change.These are people who let shadows begin to fall on their souls and contribute to the darkness of apathy. They are the ones who begin to block out what modern technology tries to show them. They don’t care, and therefore don’t take advantage of the therapy-opportunities all around them. They don’t contributr to the light, which is the same thing as contributing to the dark. Social media can do good works or it can do bad, depending on who participates in it. I too, am of the mind that there is more good in the world than bad. Good people simply must participate in shaping our world.

    • Well stated, Vicki. Just living in the light is not enough: we must also contribute to the light if we really want to call ourselves followers of Jesus.

  • John

    The problem is sin, not sickness. As you point out, the Newtown shootings were an act of evil. We need the kind of healing brought about through grace (prevenient and otherwise) that leads to repentance and holy life, though the power of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, we often treat our sin and that of others as sickness to be cured through psychiatric or psychological therapy. So long as we deny the power of original sin and of our sinful fleshly natures and see evil through a purely therapeutic model, we will remain where we are. Therapy may help in some cases, but the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, which is available only through Christ and His church, is the only real cure, making us more Christ-like.

  • James 1:15

    Desire is the mother of sin.

    So, sin cannot be born if the desire is dead.

    We can complete the purpose of fighting without fighting.

    We can complete the purpose of desire without desire.

    It may be a wonderful wisdom.

    (((God bless you)))