The Healing Power of Faith and Love
by Sheryl Johnson Todd, parishioner

Last January, I was in desperate pain. I had fallen and broken my right shoulder in two places. I am right-handed, so this injury was particularly debilitating. Nights and days were agonizing. I will never again be judgmental of people who become addicted to drugs because of using painkillers.

Out of desperation, I went to the Absalom Healing Weekend. I was overwhelmed, not so much by the Absaloms’ teaching, but by the other attendees! The group was easily in as much need of healing as I was. There was a time we broke up into small clusters to share. In my group was a couple who have been at SJD for 5 decades. They were there to pray for their grown daughter for healing—not physical healing, but emotional/spiritual healing. I was awed.

A few days later, I received an uplifting hand-written letter with a small cross in it from this couple, encouraging me to maintain my faith, perseverance, and patience for healing. Again, I was awed by their fortitude in encouraging me while being in their own need/pain. Their wisdom was so correct. I craved IMMEDIATE healing, and that may not be and was not God’s plan for me.

As part of the healing service, the Rev. Reagan Cocke applied anointing oil to my arm with prayer. The next day the overwhelming, piercing pain had receded. I still had pain but not massive, debilitating pain.

This summer I was with the SJD pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We were at the small "shack" where the friends lowered their sick friend through the roof to have the Lord heal him. At that moment, I truly understood the faith and desperation of these friends—much like the other attendees of the Absalom weekend in January. I was convicted of how church members are the body of Christ and a real part of any healing process.

It has now been seven months of rehabilitation and the healing continues as does my re-discovered belief that it is not my plan, but God’s that I must believe in and wait for, not with a heavy heart but with JOY. SJD’s Vacation Bible School the last week of July reinforced this truth. I do not have to ponder and worry about such scholarly themes as the eschatological implications of the diaspora and other theological issues. All I have to do is dance and sing in praise that Jesus invited me to follow him, that he is alive, that I can trust him with my life, that I can love others the way Jesus loves me, and that with this belief and joy I can make waves and change my world and that of others.

You are invited to experience the healing power of faith and love at the Houston Prayer Weekend with the Rev. Mike Endicott on October 7 & 8.

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