Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is.
Louise L. Hay
Is healing necessary? Of course, it is. Why? Because people are hurt – partly through dashed hopes, partly through their own misdeeds and partly through hurts inflicted on them by others. They weep, but we see no tears. Their hearts bleed, but we see no blood. Living routine lives, they try to numb their pain through distractions – pleasure, excitement, adventure and the pursuit of artificial happiness. Such happiness wears off and the pain returns, because it lingers until the hurts are healed; until some of us take one small step in the direction of the one who is in pain.
Why should we get involved? It is not our business. Perhaps we will get the brush-off, if we try. Perhaps the person who is hurt does not want to be healed. These are thoughts that assail our purpose and intent. They hold us back. Despite these negative thoughts we need to try. Why? Because we need healing as much as others do. We yearn to be healed with balm that does not dull the pain, but rids us of it. Others long for the same healing.
What is healing? It is an intangible transformation that comes from:
1) Acknowledging our weaknesses, and those of others;
2) Putting right what was wrong through understanding and acceptance;
3) Forgiving ourselves and others, and not bearing grudges;
4) Ultimately, turning to God for solace and surrendering our pain to Him. And, praying for those who need healing. Then we gain peace; sometimes others do.
The dimensions of the healing process seem daunting. However, we must take that small first step if we are to achieve the objective in some small way. We should try, even if we fail occasionally.
The problem is compounded by the fear of being transparent. The art of candid conversation has given way to hours before the TV. Genuine friendship is seldom found because we live behind high walls that we refuse to tear down. Insulated from others we live in fear and insecurity, not wanting to drop our guard. There is no handholding, only clenched fists that will not open.
How do we unclench such fists? How do we commence the healing process? By being there; by conveying oneness with the one in pain:
1) By not preaching, but being an example of surrendering ourselves to God;
2) By not comparing one with another, but by treating each as a unique person;
3) By not accusing or adopting a superior posture, but by assuming the stance of the person in pain;
4) By empathizing, not sympathizing;
5) By listening; listening with head and heart; listening to the feelings couched in words;
6) Preach always. If necessary use words. Saint Francis of Assisi. By speaking in their idiom, when necessary, without offering solutions, but gently urging them to think of likely solutions that suit their situation. In their state of mind, anything imposed will be rejected. Only what they find logical will be acceptable to them.
The examples of Jesus and The Buddha come to mind. Zacchaeus, the Chief Tax Collector, was a defrauder. Jesus does not accuse him or preach to him. He does not even remotely refer to his sinful past. He waits for Zacchaeus to speak. The moral uprightness of Jesus silently prods the tax collector. He apologizes and promises to make good to those he defrauded. He repents and is healed.
Kisa Gotami was the wife of a rich merchant. She had a handsome little boy whom she loved dearly. One day the boy fell ill and died. Inconsolable, the mother walked the village, her dead son in her arms, begging people to help her. Some suggested that she meet The Buddha, who listened to her patiently. Knowing that reason or suggestions would not work, he begged her to fetch a mustard seed from any house that had not known death. The anxious woman went from door to door. Not one house could help her, because each had faced death at sometime. After much searching and some reflection the woman returned to The Buddha. He did not have to explain anything to her; she had found her answer and was healed.
Like Jesus and The Buddha, we can attempt healing without assuming a superior posture. We have to extend a hand, even if that hand is not taken. We have to reach out even if the reaching out is rejected. We have to take the initiative, like Jesus, not waiting for the person in pain to approach us. When that happens the healing process would have begun.
We shall not call this process a movement or campaign, but a crusade, because a crusade symbolizes not just a commitment to a cause, but zeal, a passion, a fire that will not be extinguished, but will burn the healer without consuming her or him. Drawing strength from God, the prime healer, we shall embark on this crusade, not worried about results, but concerned only over the act of reaching out; taking one small step at a time.
We can achieve little or nothing on our own. We need help, God’s help. And the best way to seek help for the healing-crusade is through prayer. Helen Steiner Rice aptly phrases the wonder prayer works: Little prayers for special things fly heavenward on angels’ wings, and there is not one thought or word that goes unanswered or unheard.
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