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Published:June 23rd, 2012 09:58 EST
A Crusade for Healing

A Crusade for Healing

By Ignatius Fernandez

"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 no tears stain their faces. Their hearts bleed, but no blood is seen. 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 will not go away until the hurts are healed; until some 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? If we flipped the question and asked ourselves whether we would want to be healed when we are hurt, chances are that we would want healing with the balm that does not dull the pain, but rids us of it. We would like to be healed in the same way that others would want healing. That is the Golden Rule.

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. We gain peace.

The dimensions of the healing process seem huge and daunting. However, we must take that small first step if we are to know whether the objective is achieved in some small way. We should try, even if some attempts do not give us the desired result.

The problem is compounded by the fear of disclosure that holds most of us in a vice-like grip. 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 hand-holding; 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 the words;

6) By speaking in their idiom, when necessary, without offering solutions, but gently urging him/her to think of likely solutions which suit the situation. In their state of mind, anything imposed will be rejected. Only what they work out will be acceptable.

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. Repentance finds a place in his heart; and he is healed.

Kisa Gotami was the wife of a rich merchant. She had a handsome little boy whom she loved dearly. Suddenly 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 found her answer and her healing.

Like Jesus and The Buddha, we can attempt healing without assuming a superior posture. We have to extend a hand, even if the 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.

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 wonders 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.