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Healing Versus Curing

We cannot be healed against our will.

Although I certainly could write something in regards to this without preparing, I chose to research it. While I was reviewing what has already been written about this topic, I came across a sermon by Reverend J.M. Brewer:

It begins from Luke 17…
“And it happened, as he was on his way to Jerusalem, that he was going between Samaria and Galilee. And on entering one of the villages, he met ten men with leprosy, who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and said: ‘Jesus, master, have mercy on us!’ And seeing them, he said: ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And it happened that as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, seeing that he was healed, turned back and praised God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at his feet, thanking him for what he had done; and he was a Samaritan.
In answer, Jesus said: ‘Were there not ten who were cleansed? Then where are the nine? Was no one to be found to turn back and praise God’s revelation except for this stranger?’ And he said to him: ‘Arise and go your way; your faith has become a healing force in you.’”

There is a fundamental difference between the concept of curing and that of healing. Today, if one pays attention to such things, it is clear that our society tends to blur the distinction, and then concentrate primarily on curing, or more particularly, on finding cures. There is a great realm of research. There is probably a charitable foundation named for every significant disease in the world. And the doctor’s last triumphant word to the patient is often: “You are cured.”

Indeed, people can be cured, but that always means cured of a particular disease. The cure is for the disease, not for the person. And that is the difference between a cure and a healing.

One never speaks of healing a disease, only of healing a person. A cure is an end; so is a healing, but in a very different way. Healing is rather a transition, a threshold between one stage of one’s existence and the next. Thus, it is often a beginning for an element of a life story that was not there before.

A cure is outwardly applied; where does healing come from? Partly it comes from the one who heals, but something must also arise from the one who is being healed.

We cannot be healed against our will.

So healing comes about through the meeting of two people. It is a kind of conversation between the two, and they have to believe in each other. The one who is sick must believe in the healer, but the healer must also believe in the one he or she is caring for. And thus it is ultimately our faith that makes us whole.

To add a little to Rev. Brewer’s sermon, my experience of curing is a restoration of physical health, an absence of symptoms, or a remedy of disease or condition. Healing is a return, remembrance, or resurrection of wholeness. While healing may inevitably result in a cure, it itself is not the removal or cessation of symptoms, but rather an integrative process that includes mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. It is possible to heal without being cured.

Our current and prevalent Western medical model stops at curing when healing is necessary to address many, if not all, of our ailments. Negative thought patterns, toxic relationships, unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles, and poor stress management each are beans that fill our bag/body becoming dis-ease that ravages our life.

Healing can happen now; curing may or may not come. We are always being invited to make peace with what is. We are not responsible for our dis-ease, but we do have a responsibility to our dis-ease. Remember one meaning of responsibility is the ability to respond. How you towards one part of yourself is how you are to your whole self. Are you at war with what is in your body or are you accepting and befriending? Cutting one part of you out or off, does not solve the issue. When we embracing healing, mystery is allowed. What is your choice? Happy healing!

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