I believe in fairies

When praying for healing I often find myself in a Peter Pan sort of mentality. I am terrified that my lack of faith, or possible subconscious lack of faith might get in the way of my healing. So, I find myself repeating ‘I believe’ to myself over and over, just in case something is happening and my unbelief halts it in its tracks.

I have heard a lot of talks on healing which unpack it theologically in all sorts of ways. Sometimes we are told that if we don’t have faith we won’t be healed – hence the blame and guilt so many of those with long term health issues face in certain church communities. Sometimes we are told that we just need a tiny bit of faith – faith as small as a mustard seed. I have also heard that regardless of our faith God can heal because, you know, he is God!

I honestly couldn’t tell you one minute to the next what I believe on healing. I believe God heals, but how, when and why defeats me.

Why do some people get an answer quickly and others don’t in a lifetime? Why are some minor injuries healed when major things go unnoticed? What is God’s criteria for healing someone? We are told he wants to heal everyone – so why doesn’t he? We are told all we have to do is ask, so why doesn’t he answer?

There are so many wise and clever people who have written on healing and many more who have experienced it. By that, I mean the act of cure for physical ailments – I do believe that every time we pray for healing God answers, just not always in the cure type way we ask…

However, I find myself tonight getting all stroppy because I am ill. Again. I feel life and ill health are relentless. I have been hit by a virus that has taken so much energy from me I can’t pick up Elijah or walk up the stairs without needing a lengthy lie down. I’m dizzy and nauseous, lights, noises, smells and touch all seem louder and more intrusive.

So, in a moment of desperation I prayed for healing. Remarkably, I feel slightly better. Maybe it’s coincidence or placebo. Maybe it’s all in my head. But I don’t think so. So, I find myself muttering ‘I believe’ in the hope, that all the healing won’t die and I might get better…

I believe in fairies!

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6 Comments

  • I also struggle with unanswered prayer. I was comforted this week reading the story of the raising of Lazarus. Mary and Martha send for Jesus and he does not come. We know the ending but they did not.

  • I can definitely relate to that – it’s the mixture of desperation and that fear that we might somehow be getting it wrong – and also then we feel ridiculous!

    For me, it helps to not concentrate on prayer and healing so much as God and goodness. (At least, that’s the theory – I don’t know that I do that!)

  • Hi Katharine,

    Hope you continue to improve … it’s debilitating innit this virus doing the rounds ?
    I’m sure prayer helps but perhaps it’s patience we need.

    Jean Vanier (in his 90th year) has just admitted that he does not know how to pray – so he waits with a lot of desire, hope and patience for his heart to grow stronger. The great man suffered a heart attack last October and is ‘off games’ at least until the end of next month.

    Puts one’s own woes into perspective really.

    May God bless you and heal you soonest,

    Jamie

  • Thank you for being authentic. I was ill for 6 hellish yrs with tremendous pain. I couldn’t cuddle my daughter, tears burned my face, I was house bound, had carers, the works. In my illness I connected with God for the first time it was incredible but I was left stumped – if God was a reality why wasn’t He healing me? I was angry and hurt. Time went by. I then learned of a theory as to why brain was creating so much pain. I was open to this new was of thinking and tried the suggestions. I ended up healing myself and no longer suffer from fibromyalgia. I think God knew that I would have more inner strength from my own self healing. But not everyone and not every illness can be self treated. That was 3 yrs ago and I’m now struggling with stage 4 endometriosis. Pain is again a reality. I believe God heals us in ways He sees best, perhaps we will feel emotionally lifted for a few minutes, maybe we will find ourselves smiling and taking joy in something, perhaps there will be some spiritual healing. Sometimes an illness brings families together. Words that would otherwise be left unsaid are uttered. We are unwell not because we lack faith or are defective in some way. It’s hard to trust when life is difficult but I truly believe God wants the best for us x

  • Of all the things I heard writing my thesis (on Christians and depression) I think the thing that hit me the hardest was one of the participants saying ‘Faith is saying ‘even when I feel like there’s no hope, there’s still hope.’ I had no idea how much I’d need his words over the last few years, truly prophetic, like you. You have no idea how much, all my love. Joy.

  • Hi, Katharine,

    I’ve had a few thoughts on supernatural healings recently. As background I am a Christian who believes they happen – indeed I was asked to pray for one many years ago, a woman with hands crippled with arthritis, and in some pain and distress. I didn’t want to do it as I was frankly terrified – what if nothing happened? – but as it was a direct request I couldn’t escape, so I went through the motions, put my hands on hers, said a prayer (without any tremendous faith), and she was healed immediately and could move her hands freely.

    Now I ask myself why doesn’t this happen all the time? If I had a “gift of healing” then why hasn’t it happened all the time?

    The conclusion I have is this: the reason it doesn’t happen all the time is because such miraculous healings are by definition supernatural. What this means is that they defy “natural law”, which by definition is repeatable. If there were something you could do (lay your hands on a person in a special way, or say a special prayer), that always led to a healing then it wouldn’t be supernatural, it would by definition be natural – as it would be an inevitable cause-and-effect relationship – a scientific, repeatable observation. Of course, we would have no idea what the mechanism of it was, but I believe the same is true of scientific laws. Like gravity – we can calculate orbits etc because we know the mathematical form that gives us the force – but we don’t really know WHY it happens, just that it does, so repeatedly that we can fly spacecraft to the nether reaches of the solar system.

    So to be supernatural, it can’t be predictable.

    I am currently reading “The Song of Bernadette” by Franz Werfel about the girl (subsequently a saint) Bernadette Soubirou who had a number of visions at Lourdes, and led to the spring at Lourdes where many people claim to have been healed. One of the things that comes out of the novel is how the crowds tried to predict the next miracle. But they never could – what miracles happened were never what they were expecting to happen. To date there have been 70 healings proclaimed as miracles by the Catholic church, which uses rigorous criteria before claiming a miracle. There may have been many more claimed. But I’m sure lots of people go to Lourdes without being healed.

    But from my perspective above, I would expect that – otherwise it would be a natural phenomenon.

    I don’t think God wants us to do science on the miraculous. He doesn’t want us to verify the miraculous by repeating the experiment.

    All I can remember of the incident I started with was that the woman looked at me with a child like faith that it would happen. But it didn’t seem like someone summoning up enough faith for it to happen – it was just simple and childlike. My faith was distinctly lacking – indeed I was so freaked out by the request that I daren’t look to see what had happened afterwards. Then after the service I saw her walking across the car-park, and she raised her hand triumphantly and wiggled her fingers. And I thought – wait a minute …. she couldn’t do that before!

    Hope these observations are of some use. I also believe in miracles (not so sure about fairies!)

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