Words kill and words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
At work the other day, some kids were playing. I don’t know what the game was, but a little girl was pretending to be very, very sick. She was laying on the floor, curled up in a ball and the “doctors” were deciding what was wrong. They were saying things that sounded like death to me, things like, “I don’t think she’s gonna make it” and “We’d better call an ambulance.” I came over and suggested that maybe they could speak words of life over her … you know, speak words that would help her heal, not words that would help her get worse.
So the “doctor” says, “Get up you filthy worm and walk or I’m gonna kick you!”
Not exactly the words of life I had in mind. We all laughed, the worm got up, and the doctor pronounced her healed. So I suppose there is a happy ending there, after all.
This reminds me, though, of words spoken by some people when a person doesn’t receive their healing. Words like, “well you just don’t have enough faith” or “there must be some sin in your life.” I know several people who have been hurt by words like that. In all honesty, I withdrew from people when my healing didn’t come because I was afraid someone would say those words to me, and I was hurting enough without them. Sometimes, they were probably spoken in good faith, with kind intentions, but the message comes through as condemnation and blame, no matter how nicely they are spoken. Those words are translated as “it’s my fault I didn’t get healed.”
I am far from settling all divine healing questions in my own life, but I think there is more to the story than this. When Jesus healed the many, or the all, don’t you suppose there were some there who had little faith and some who probably had sin in their life? I’m not saying these can’t be reasons some don’t get healed, but wow, could we be led by the Holy Spirit on this one and not just offer pat answers because we have no other answer for why someone didn’t get healed?
What if, instead of kicking the worm and heaping condemnation and blame on people, we minister grace and mercy and words of life? The kids didn’t get that when I tried to explain it but we are all adults here, we can get it, can’t we?
Lord, I have been afraid to have anyone speak those words to me, I can blame myself and get under condemnation without any help from anyone, but I know others who have been hurt by those words. Would You heal them? Would You bring comfort to them and whisper Your love and acceptance to them? Help us all to remember that when we are hurting or withdrawn or sick that You haven’t forgotten us nor left us alone, and help us to be ministers of grace and mercy and life. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: postivelybeautifulliveblog.