Excerpts 1: Highlights, Introduction
“How many of us are crippled by depression, anxiety, or any number of challenges not apparent to the naked eye?
Health involves more than the absence of physical problems. Those Jesus did heal physically were invited to further healing, to become well not only in body but also in mind and spirit: a holistic approach, as we might say today. Jesus invited the woman healed of hemorrhaging to face him honestly rather than slink away unnoticed. He forgave the sins of the paralytic before healing the man’s paralysis. Some healings weren’t on the physical level at all, such as the woman who anointed Jesus, and, through her encounter with him, was healed of shame.”
“This collection of stories makes clear that there was no one-size-fits-all healing method. Healings were as varied as the people seeking them. Jesus responded to different needs and circumstances in a number of ways.”
“With Your Faith Has Made You Well I invite you to relate to the biblical accounts of Jesus’ healing in a deeper way and to consider what they have to say to you and to those around you who may be in need of healing today.” Introduction, pages 1-3
Excerpts 2: Highlights, Chapter 4—The Leper, Restored to Community Life
“The leper dared to approach Jesus even though it was forbidden. Once determined “unclean” by the priests, lepers had to live outside the camp, wear torn clothes, and leave their hair uncombed. As if that wasn’t enough to keep others away, they had to call out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ to make sure people kept their distance. (Lev 13: 45-56) What a lonely, miserable way to live.”
“Many of us choose to isolate ourselves when we’re having a rough time for any number of reasons. We voluntarily treat ourselves much like the leper. We stay home in dirty pajamas or a ratty bathrobe and pull the covers over our heads. We don’t shower or comb our hair. We transmit the message loud and clear that we want to be alone. We determine that we are unclean, unfit for the company of others. The spiral of isolation continues in its downward trajectory every time we look in the mirror.
We don’t share our problems because we fear others will reject us. Instead, we beat them to the punch and reject ourselves.”
“People with skin diseases can’t really cover them up. Their condition is out in the open for all to see. Unlike them, we can choose to cover up our inner blemishes and sore spots, hoping no one else will see, but what does that gain us? We are as alone as if we were in quarantine. There’s a saying that we’re only as sick as our secrets. Granted, we don’t have to broadcast our difficulties in public. Discretion is always wise, but discretion is not the same as going it alone.”
Ponder: What isolates you from others? What would it take to be healed of this isolation?
Pray: Trinity of Love, we’re called to live in community. Melt the barriers of fear and pride that isolate me from others. Chapter 4, The Leper: Restored to Community Life, pages 21-25