- Healing our Picture of God.
Last week I inadvertently left off the important last stanza of this powerful poem. I’m including it here, with the last half of the poem by Fr. John Shea, “God.”
The last image, Strange God,
is the broken one.
Drag, then, people
the fat god of the sky
to the perpendicular arms of pain
no death goes unnoticed.
Drag, then, people
the helmeted god of sharp teeth
to the man without armor
and know that love is always vulnerable.
. . . O God
as close as breath and blood
yet as far as lasting peace!
arriving at every moment
yet ever delayed!
the look of love in every face,
yet faceless yourself!
Once on a winter shore
when I turned from the sea
for no other reason
than its cold majesty
and saw down the sand
one long lost from sight
but never far from soul—
in that moment
I knew you simply
as the first person to
breathe knew you
and the way the last person ever
to breathe will know you,
“O my God!”
I believe that our picture, our often less-than-articulated image, of God, needs to be brought out in the open, and perhaps questioned. For instance, you may believe that God is so SUPREME that he dictates everything that happens. This may be commendable in one sense, in that you can express trust in God, no matter what. Like Job, who lost everything except his wife and his life, and exclaimed, The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Trouble is, this thinking cannot avoid making God the author of, or at least complicit in, evil. So if you’re sick, or your father or mother has left you to go work overseas, or if your spouse has abandoned you, God did it, or should have at least prevented it from happening! We might even think, “Why is God doing this to me? Is he punishing me for something?” Like a jail inmate I was counseling who said, “God must be punishing me for my crimes.” I said, “No, society is punishing you, but God isn’t: He may be pruning you, (John 15) but Jesus has already taken your punishment on the Cross.”
I think that’s a major point of John Shea’s poem; God is not a distant potentate (“helmeted God of sharp teeth”) but one who rules, so to speak, from the Cross. He suffers with and for people, and always looks for ways of healing them from sickness and sin. “No death goes unnoticed.”
Remember, “Love is always vulnerable.” This is important for the whole matter of healing. The Bible is replete with healings, mostly in the New Testament, and there are evangelists/faith healers today who have documented healings from everything from blindness, deafness, cancer, etc., (watch Syd Roth’s IT’S SUPERNATURAL on YouTube). But this is NOT the experience of most Christians, and most churches do not seriously pray for the sick. (Like a Presbyterian pastor I met at the Coast: having pneumonia I asked him, “Do you pray for the sick?” “No,” he said, and walked off.)
- Healings as Signs of the Presence of the Kingdom. Now, Jesus never turned His back on the sick, but was always healing them, because of his compassion, his love, and as a major sign of the presence of the Kingdom of God arriving in Him. He also instructed and empowered his disciples to heal the sick, cast out demons, etc. The book of Acts is replete with stories about their doing that very thing, in Jesus’ name.
What I’ve been wrestling with is this: I’ve had pneumonia for nearly a half year, and have tried prayer and the traditional means of healing, like antibiotics, to no avail. (The sea breezes, with their salt content and negative ions, helped somewhat.) Now Jesus promised, Knock, Seek, Ask, and it will be given you. So, weren’t my prayers answered?
- Healing of our Thinking about Cures. Well, what I was given was new knowledge: about natural cures, as well as causes of diseases. I am now consulting with a homeopathic doctor and changing my diet, e.g., eliminating coffee and turning increasingly to organic foods. I’ve been reading Kevin Trudeau’s powerful book, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. (New York Times’ Best-seller, with multi-million copies.) He is a modern David, taking on the Goliath of the corrupt pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. They, and even the AMA, have been so corrupted by greed that they are doing their absolute best to suppress any information about alternatives, natural cures, that really work. For instance, they bribe congressmen—even former President Bush—through campaign contributions, to pass laws like the one that says “Only drugs can cure.” Which is a straight out lie. Drugs don’t cure; at best, they are “palliatives.”
Trouble for us in the Philippines is that medical schools, and medical practice, here have followed course. Doctors are trained only in pharmaceuticals and surgery (plus radiation for cancer), but are left ignorant of the myriads of natural cures, which really do work to prevent and heal disease. Why? Again, greed. As the drug companies make billions on drugs which do not cure, even cause disease, the doctors get kick-backs from pharmaceutical representatives, and are brain-washed only to write prescriptions. Many of these are downright dangerous, most often to your liver. (Like vaccines and antibiotics, which Trudeau says you should never take.)
Take Vioxx. The FDA knew for five years that it was a dangerous drug, but permitted it to be sold anyway. Why? Because it was racking in billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry and the doctors. Meantime, 100,000 people died, and a million more had heart attacks and strokes because of it.
How is all of this a “Faith Matter’? Well, first of all, greed is a matter of a mis-placed faith: People, even highly-educated or trained, may believe that money is the most important thing, above all else. This is idolatry, says Scripture. (We all worship something. If it is not His Kingdom—of love—what is it?) Drug companies do not want to find cures, they want to make billions by getting people hooked on their drugs.
Secondly, I believe that God still cares for the sick, even if “miraculous” cures are not common, around here, anyway. I believe He has raised up people like Kevin Trudeau to confront an evil empire, the heart of which is the pharmaceutical industry, because God cares about the sick! I further believe that He is trying to teach us all about these things, for instance that cell-phone and other electronic media radiation is causing so much brain cancer that cell-phones are outlawed in England for children under 16 years of age.
If you’d like to know more, and/or find a licensed alternative health professional, go to NATURAL CURES.COM. (This is fee-based, as Trudeau accepts no advertisements.)
(The opinions and contentions contained in this column belong to the author alone and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this paper and its staff)