“The World Needs Healers” by Jojo Agot, lead pastor at Victory Caloocan Church, Malabon City, Manila, Philippines, posted June 6, 2020 at: http://www.jojoagot.com
The world needs healers. I don’t mean doctors. Yes, we need doctors but I’m talking about healers—people who bring healing and wholeness to our fractured society simply by being here.
Our world is broken, that much is obvious. The pandemic exposed and widened the cracks in our politics, our sacred institutions, our relationships, even our faith. All of us are on the edge. We jump and pounce at the slightest provocation. We get angry at about anything and the internet gives us new reasons to be outraged about every day. We are all fighters now; but there are so few healers to tend to our wounds.
Thousands of years ago, Jeremiah lived through a similar situation in Judah. As the nation was ravaged by the enemy, Jeremiah witnessed grave social injustices. Kings failed to protect the welfare of the people. The nation scattered. Everything was a mess. Jeremiah cried, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people (Jeremiah 8:22)?”
I can feel the lament in his questions. Jeremiah was asking about the famous balm of Gilead, a balsamic ointment prized in the ancient world. This balm is a metaphor for spiritual healing. Why are the people of God not healed?
In Jeremiah’s day, healing was elusive because the priests have forsaken their calling to teach the life-giving words of Jehovah. They aggravated the brokenness of the nation by withholding the words of truth. Today, we see a similar problem. So many of the people of God who are called to bring healing have forgotten their calling to speak words of life and peace. They have instead participated in the ugly business of demonizing those who are on the other side of the political divide. I’m talking about Christians who bear the name of Christ but have no qualms about trolling and stoking the fires of outrage from behind their computer screens. It is one thing to articulate your political convictions graciously. It is another thing to enjoy the trash talk and the personal attacks.
This post is a simple call for the people of God to calm down a bit. Our citizenship is in heaven. Our allegiance is in Christ. Our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation. The world is already burning. It needs fire extinguishers, not firebrands. Be a healer who tends to the wounds of the fighters from both sides. Treat the wounded, speak words of life, and apply the balm of Gilead to the broken so that there will be healing for the wound of the people.
The world needs healers. Be one.
Ephesians 4:31-32 — Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ecclesiastes 10:4b — …Calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
Jeremiah 8:21-22 — Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?
Acts 19:36b — …You ought to calm down and not do anything rash.
Almighty and most merciful God, who hast given us a new commandment that we should love one another, give us also grace that we may fulfill it. Make us gentle, courteous, and patient. Direct our lives so that we may each look to the good of others in word and deed; for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
–B. F. Westcott, Bishop and Bible scholar, (1825-1901)