Within both of my spiritual traditions (Protestant & Cherokee), healing has and does play a prominent role. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophet Isaiah acts as an oracle to prophecy about the Egyptians returning to their Creator, where they undergo healing (Is. 19:22). In the New Testament, Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians speaks of the various gifts we have been given, including that of healing (1 Cor. 12:9).
In Cherokee thought, the animals and plants work in the humans’ favor to bring healing and restoration (Mooney: History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee). For the purposes of healing, both in the hospital and in the church, I have been known to use olive oil consecrated in the name of the Holy Spirit, and I have employed a feather dipped in lavender and sage in the name of the Great Spirit. Both are sacred paths to the same God, the God of the medicinal. Outside of my traditions lie many paths to healing, and people are called to heal self and others in the ways that make the most sense to them.
Healing is sometimes associated with the heart. My coronary arteries took quite a beating from young adulthood cancer chemotherapy. My heart gave in to this abuse one cold March morning in 2008. I was given two balloon angioplasties and two stents. They “repaired” my right circumflex artery and my left anterior descending (LAD), sometimes called the “widowmaker.” I despise the term, for it is obviously not life-giving, and the stenting of the LAD almost killed me, literally. Some of the scar tissue that has since formed serves, as does my medication, as a reminder.
Healing should be about renewal, as should any call associated with it. I believe we are called to the process and reality of healing. We are called to bring wholeness to others; that’s part of why we are here yo! Who needs your healing touch? Is there someone that you can start on the path to healing by your kind words, your gentle touch, or your listening ear?
I have been healed in so many ways. Yet, perhaps like you, I remain forever scarred in some ways as well. When opportunities for healing come up, we should take them, especially if we can participate in the healing of another.