Sunday, 1 July 2012

Being whole

This is a powerful video clip to show to students as part of a PSHE programme. It teaches the importance and power of wholeness of spirit and mind. Nick Vujicic makes his audience consider their lack of wholeness, hesays that it is "scary" how many girls have eating disorders, how many people feel they are worthless, how many of those who on the surface seem whole, lack inner wholeness.
Today's reading contains the account of two healings wrapped around each other. On the way to heal a sick child, a woman touches the hem of Jesus' garment and is healed. Jesus feels power go out of him and calls her in front of him. She is clearly afraid but he says her faith has made her whole. The news then comes that the child has died, but Jesus says she is only asleep and he raises her from the dead.
In the first healing, the woman would undoubtedly have suffered great shame and been ostracised due to her condition. Perhaps this is why she tries to get herself healed unobtrusively, without anyone knowing, without Jesus knowing. I wonder if Jesus speaks to her directly because she needs more than physical healing, she needs reassurance that her need for healing was not shameful, that she  herself was not a shameful secret.Then, after publicly drawing attention to the first healing, Jesus, having raised the child from the dead, tells people to keep that healing secret and not to tell anyone.
One of the problems is that human nature has an (understandable) propensity to be impressed more by sensational acts of physical healing than the less visible healing of the mind and spirit. The first woman went away healed of more than her physical ailment; she went away vindicated as a human being. Jesus also shows in both healings his lack of concern about being made ritually unclean, either by a bleeding woman or a corpse. As he once taught, it is the things that come from within that make us unclean, or pure, damaged or whole. The crowds had a lesson to learn from the first healing, that healing is not just about the spectacular, it is about the whole person.
Both healings involve touch and speech, and the way we reach out to others and what we say to them are a part of healing and wholeness. These healings demonstrate the way that Jesus can touch and speak to us in ways which heal the slow painful haemorraghing of rejection and shame, and reach the self which we thought was dead but was asleep and waiting for his call.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post!
    I believe the woman who touched Jesus' garment in secret did it not only because she was ostracised but because she had internalised the shame to the extent that she didn't feel worthy of being healed.
    And I believe that this is the main obstacle people have to overcome. Unless you can believe that you are worth being whole you cannot even attempt to try.
    I think Jesus recognises that in the story of the blind man who is asked whether he wants to be healed.
    Really wanting to be healed is already the second step.

    And to some extent, it troubles me that people have to make the first move by recognising that healing is potentially available for them.
    So many don't seem to ever get to that stage.