Everyone Can Heal
(Posted November 22, 2023)
“Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.” -- Christopher Reeve, quadriplegic and “Superman”
This particular season is such a time of endings and beginnings. In our church this coming Remembrance Sunday, we will celebrate all those people who we loved and who taught us during our journey but have returned home to God before us. Their presence through our memory of them is just as real as former days that they sat at our Thanksgiving table. And then the Sunday after this is the beginning of the Christmas season, when we decorate the trees and hang the greens around this beautiful sanctuary.
The Remembering of Remembrance
However, this Sunday the very first thing we do, before the trees are decorated, is to place pictures of our loved ones on the trees – an early reminder that, no matter how late into the Advent season we are, our loved ones are participating with us. Each of you who attends this Remembrance Sunday will receive a blue votive holder with an electric votive, so that you can take it home and make it part of your own Christmas.
A Service of Blessing and Healing
Then, after we memorialize the important people in our lives, I will invite anyone present to come forward for a blessing and laying on of hands. It has been a hard year for many of us health-wise. We hope to be the conduit for God’s positive, healing energy that interacts with one’s own faith to help transform one’s life. Our online ministries can also text in and ask for a blessing for themselves or another who needs that light.
One of the most important things we can remind ourselves about is, as a very sage person once said,
“Some people cannot be cured, but everyone can heal.”
How true this is, especially when we look at the ways our souls can heal after injury and trauma.
When Life Requires Both Faith and Courage
Back in the year 2000, I had the opportunity to meet Christopher Reeve, the famous actor who brought Superman alive on silver screen, soaring above the clouds. In this world of “you never know what’s going to happen next,” his whole world had come crashing down in 1995 for him when, riding his horse in a Virginia competition, he was thrown from his mount and paralyzed from the neck down.
Imagine the adjustment that he had to make, even to the way he perceived himself. In the motivational talk he gave us, Chris was truthful that, a year or so after the accident, he was sitting in his wheelchair in his backyard, wondering if he really wanted to go on living “confined to a wheelchair.”
But then he started looking up, up at the cumulus clouds that drifted high above him. He told us, “It was then that I realized that my mind was able to be way up there, with them, floating on the breeze, not confined to anything.”
It marked the beginning of a major change in who Christopher Reeves was. As he once said, “Since the accident, whenever I dream, I’ve never dreamt of myself as disabled. Never.”
Life often requires of us not only faith but courage. Courage to carry on when we miss others or watch the people we love, or even ourselves, face the decline of aging. But it’s faith and the hope that comes with it that makes the turn into a new season. Just like we do today.
Join me this Sunday when we enjoy Nancy Wildman’s song to set the mood for remembering, and healing.