I have entered into a profession where I will have the opportunity on a daily basis to be a HEALER.
Healing has been a recurrent theme in my thoughts as of late. In my basic science course curriculum here at Midwestern we learn a lot about pathology. We have to know everything that could possibly go wrong with the human body and why. The truth is that our bodies are complex, and so are the cancers, bacterial infections, viruses and other diseases that we are susceptible to. The magical thing is that our body has its own built-in immune system to deal with the unwanted invasions and it does a pretty good job of keeping us rather healthy.
But problems arise when our immune systems fail in one area or another. If our body is killing 99.99 percent of what could harm us there is still that .01 percent that leaves us vulnerable. The pathogen could hit u just right in that spot and cause disease. Our immune system can be inherently deficient in just a tiny area, in one reaction or pathway and it can cause disease. It wasn’t because of anything we did deliberately it just cannot be explained. There are also diseases caused by what are called “hypersensitivity” reactions. An allergy is a simple example. A lot of the time we become ill and we can’t explain why we react how we do and we didn’t see this chink in our armor. We were built with an ultra-sensitivity to something and sometimes we don’t discover it until it’s too late and we are already harmed. (We all know what things in this world trigger our “hypersensitivity.”)
Satan knows us well and knows just what way to invade our spiritual immune system and begin to destroy us. Sometime she is blatant about the attack but most often he does this subtly, just like a cancer in its initial stages. We might not even think anything is wrong. Before we know it we are left diseased.
This happens to all of us. The truth is that a lot of the mistakes we make in this life are not because we are inherently bad people or that we are stupid but because we are wounded. There are deep emotional wounds or insecurities or hypersensitivity that we are desperately trying to get rid of. There are hurt and spiritual sick individuals all around us. We must have empathy and realize that the pathogens, allergens and diseases these people are infected with are the bad guys but the person is inherently good.
We are more than willing to nurse a close friend, family member or even total strangers back to health if they present physically ill…if someone is sick around us or wounded in a terrible accident most of us readily help. But are we really helping each other with our spiritual diseases? Too often we see the diseased individual and we leave them to rot, or worse we beat them when they are down (see picture) and inflict them with even more pain than what they are going through.
For those around us that are spiritually sick are we picking them up and giving them a hug, bringing them inside our homes, giving them medicine, putting them in bed and bringing them hot soup with a kiss on the forehead telling them everything is going to be alright? Or are we leaving them out in the cold as they wither away?
We all need to follow the Savior’s lead and become healers in our own right. Instead of negatively looking at someones flaws and assuming, shunning, gossiping, scolding, and punishing we need to practice first aid and simply be a friend. We should never throw salt on the wound but we need to become expert listeners who can recognize signs and symptoms of illness and make proper diagnoses. Many times the roots of the disease will be emotional pain suffered early on in life and that person is desperately looking for a cure. We open their wounds further by making life hard on them. Broken hearts, homes and spirituality should lead us all to the Savior who is the master healer. That is why he lets bad things happen in the first place, so that we will seek him and find healing and salvation.
We can point others in the right direction and comfort them in whatever stage of disease they are at. Some have fallen very far off the path and we think they are doomed with terminal illness. Do we isolate them as if in a leper colony? We should not. Lets get them help. The disease can be reversed. It is never too late. Even if they are spiritually dead…The Savior raised men from the dead. He knows the cure for every disease and he conquers death.
I can speak from personal experience as both the healer and the wounded soul. I have seen a lot of illness in my day even at the young age of 26. Best friends I have lost, emotionally wrecked girls I have taken out, family members who have wandered off the path…On the larger scale I have seen illness in the many people I encountered in Ecuador on my mission, classmates, acquaintances in all walks of life and even random people walking the streets of America’s bustling cities. I worked on a suicide research team at the University of Utah Medical Examiner’s office and had to interview suicide victim’s next of kin within a year or so of their deaths. In many cases I saw their files filled with the details of their situations or heard it first hand from those who knew them best. In every case these individuals were spiritually sick. Some of their situations were down right depressing. The last question on the interview I had to ask was what religion did this person consider themselves and if they had attend church in the 3 months prior to their suicide. The answer was always Latter Day Saint and then no, none of them had made it to church. These stories broke my heart, but gave me great perspective. These were emotionally and spiritually sick individuals who were unable to begin a healing process for one reason or another.
In my own experience as the wounded I can say that it was a slow and progressive disease. For most people it is. I knew right away that I was sick yet I never really got the proper treatment. Things only worsened. It was like a toothache that you try to treat with pain killers, fillings, maybe even a root canal… But by that point the once toothache is now a full blow abscess and infection. It wasn’t until I performed a full tooth extraction that I could really see what was going on in my mouth.
Its like when you pull a weed and you never realized how many crazy roots were holding it in place under the ground. Healing is slow for a full tooth extraction and you hope not to get dry sockets. I can just say that it helps when you get to the bottom of things, pinpoint the disease and get the proper treatment.
A lot of our susceptibilities to disease are inherent and therefore will never go away throughout our entire life. Even once healed there is always another wound or the risk of the original returning. We can boost our immune system doing all we can…diet, exercise, medication, etc. But still we will get sick. Although often it can’t be explained the Lord has the answers. He even has the vaccine if you will for every disease which is a cure-all. Scientists spend years upon years coming up with these complicated disease eradication drugs. That is what makes the Savior the master healer. He can give us power from on high to heal and prevent all disease. I know this to be true, for I have been healed and I have seen others healed.
Let us all seek the Savior out whether we or someone we know is wounded. This is war in the last days and many will fall. Lets not leave our comrades to die but let us practice the Army ranger creed…”I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy.” Let’s do as the Savior does.