Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, February 09, 2015


Healing Church

“He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up.”

Jesus was a healer.

To heal means to make whole. You know the expression, “I am trying to get myself together.” We want healing wholeness and a sense of being truly human.

What was it like to be sick in Jesus day?
No doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug stores, check ups, much less sanitation and even germ theory.

Casting Out Demons. People who were out of their so-called normal minds were on the streets in Jesus day, just like now. We see men and women all the time on our city streets who seem possessed. They yell, speak out harshly and with great anger.

I was sitting in a Starbucks on Irving St. with my friend Michael. We overheard an aggressive angry man sitting on the sidewalk. He threatened to stab people. We saw no knife. Michael was a nurse and he said, “We need to call the police.” They arrived within five minutes, were firm but clear that the man had to go to the hospital. They took him by the hand and lifted him into the ambulance. Ten minutes this man, possessed with a demon – alcohol, drugs, or insanity, was taken to the hospital.

Not only in Jesus day. The demented just walked the streets until they die. In poverty stricken Africa and in rural America, the demented walk the streets until they are killed or die.

Walking hand in hand with Jesus. Some people have that experience of being in the presence of Jesus. One woman was perplexed about many problems in her life. She went for a walk quietly in her heart and prayed for Jesus to guide her. As she walked she felt Jesus had taken her hand and was walking along with her. The old hymn came to my mind, “Oh he walked with me and he talked with me when I came to the garden alone.”

Another great spiritual is Blessed Lord, take my Hand.  Many people witness to feeling the presence of Jesus, of Jesus taking their hand and lifting them up.

In the movie Selma MLK, Jr., calls up Mahalia Jackson and has her sing Blessed Lord take My Hand, as he has to make hard decisions about moving forward in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

I have never had such an experience of Jesus. Not everyone does or has to. We all relate to the presence of Jesus in different ways.

We want to take our friends and family by the hand and lift them up when we see they are sick. We want to give them a healing touch.

That’s what we do at our healing station here at St. John’s. Healing ministers anoint with oil those people who want a healing touch for themselves or others.  We lay hands, human hands and anoint with oil. People are invited each Sunday to the healing station with our physical and emotional concerns. We need to be taken by the hand and lifted up.

Healing hand to all that are sick. Not just here in church but politically too. Affordable Care Act is trying to be destroyed by many conservative political forces in our country. So many in our land need to be taken by a healing hand and lifted up. Simply by helping people have health insurance.

We heal the hungry.
 When we pass out food at The Julian Pantry on Saturday mornings.

Seek to heal by urging an end to all wars. Lend us a hand some Thursday at noon to stand and say NO WAR!

We seek to give a healing hand to our neighbors frightened that they will be deported.

We hold out our healing hands when we heal people in Nicaragua get clean water.

We give and receive a healing hand when we give each other the peace.

One of our parishioners told me that the only time anyone touches him is when he comes to church and people hug him or shake hands and say The Peace of the Lord. Take a moment and give a healing hand to our brothers and sisters in the church at The Peace.

We Christians are also interested in Political healing. Not just personal healing.

We Christians are healers when we support the San Francisco Organizing Project when they meet in our church this afternoon from 3-6 PM. We take the hands of the powerless and assist them in becoming strong through community organization.

Jesus comes and takes our hands when we take the holy bread, the icon of his body. He takes our hands and empowers us to heal and strengthen others. We are in communion with Jesus and God and with each other.



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