BY PASTOR DORAL PULLEY
“Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing ALL manner of sickness and ALL manner of disease among the people (Matthew 4:23).”
Healing is not limited to physical or even emotional/mental healing. Healing is spiritual as well. Spiritual healing is needed when we blame God for various life events (death, natural disasters, loss of any kind).
When we have no interest in participating in spiritual exercises such as prayer, fasting, reading, praise and worship, giving, fellowship or witnessing because we are disappointed with God, we are in need of spiritual healing. Spiritual healing is also required when we have become disillusioned with church members, church officials and members of the clergy because an aspect of their humanity has been revealed. Although church hurt is one of the most painful experiences, spiritual healing is still available to all.
I AM a witness of spiritual healing. When I was 22 years old, my wife died 10 days after our twins were born. I was angry with God. I felt that I had done everything right by getting married young and staying in the church. From my perspective, it was unfair for God to take my wife and leave me as a single parent of two infant daughters. I was the founding pastor of a small congregation and I was in so much pain that I did not want to pray, preach or teach anymore.
Not only was I angry with God, I was angry with God’s people. I did not want to hear one more person say, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.” I felt it was so insensitive for congregants to tell me, “I know that you can’t see it right now but all this is going to work together for your good.” I became irate when people quoted to me the trite phrase, “God is too wise to make a mistake.” I became enraged when religious people with good intentions exclaimed, “Just praise your way out it!”
None of these statements brought me comfort or peace, they only wounded me more.
I experienced spiritual healing through journaling. Even though I did not want to talk to God, I learned to pray without talking. Like the Psalmist David, I wrote letters to God to express exactly how I felt. Putting my thoughts on paper, gave me permission to be angry with God as long as I needed to. I wrote until I got it all out. I wrote until I could pray in words. I wrote until I was no longer angry with God. I wrote until my desire to preach and teach returned. I wrote until it was clear to me that church people have not been properly trained how to just be there for people. Christians often forget that we don’t have to have all of the answers. Instead of spouting religious jargon, sometimes it’s just best to shut-up and listen.
Through this experience, I moved from religion to relationship with God. I never had a relationship with anyone that I did not get angry with and God was no exception. God is concerned about every part of us – body (physical) soul (mental and emotional) and spirit (spiritual). “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole – spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thessalonians 5:23).”