How Do You Ask for Healing?

 

How do you ask for healing?

There are a thousand ways.

With a hand quickly raised.

With a name, an intention,

With a printed drop of water bobbing in an ocean,

With a song and a choir of candles,

With a cry

With a plea.

 

How do you ask for healing?

With carefully constructed provisos and well-built justifications,

With scriptures like weapons of war and theologies that could storm battlements

With tearful bargains and promises,

With fears under rugs and questions gagged like prisoners.

 

And then we hear yes; and rejoice with unbelieving surprise

Or hear no, and weep in stunned silence,

Or hear nothing, and listen for the echoes of our prayer in an uncaring darkness.

 

How do I ask for healing?

When I have rejoiced, and wept, and listened,

As my body shakes and trembles

And my mind stumbles in deep mists;

 

How do I ask for healing?

When I am betrayed by flesh that is either 33 or 92,

When I lie imprisoned on my bed,

Listening to the sounds of my wife and my boy beyond the bars,

Each gift and green thing repossessed,

Until I am a spectator to my own life.

 

How do we ask for healing?

If not as conquerors demanding tribute from subjugated gods,

If not as lawyers presenting cases before bored judges,

If not as con-men who turn each “no” into a “yes”?

 

How do we ask for healing?

We ask like centurions at the end of their power;

Lepers who have forgotten even hope,

Cripples who cannot bathe in water an arms-reach away.

 

How do we ask for healing?

We ask not like kings, but like beggars,

Not like queens, but like divine panhandlers,

Holding up signs as cars drive by,

Knowing that every real “yes” and “no” must come from anothers lips.

 

And then – almost unknowing,

We fall into the mystery of love;

Which cannot always heal, but can always hold,

As it trickles through the cracks of a broken world.

 

For it is then,

When  broken, despairing, and blind,

We stumble into arms that embrace us when we say,

“I am not worthy for you to come under my roof,

But say the words and I will be healed.”

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