God Heals on God's Time
When I was a child, one of my favorite TV shows was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. My parents would record it, since it aired after my bedtime, and then we would watch it together the next day. A few years ago, we found the series on DVD and got it as a family Christmas gift. I loved that show, and so many of the topics brought up in the show with 1870's politics are still poignantly relevant for today.
As the name implies, one of the main foci of the program was medicine, healing. You see a doctor to fix what is broken; the doctor does everything she or he can to mend what is wrong and get you back on your feet again. It is a simple problem-and-answer formula, except for when it is not.
In the pilot episode of Dr. Quinn, you learn the good doctor has practically run away from home in Boston to live on the frontier, certain they have to accept her doctoring skills in this little town because there is no one else. She is determined to prove to her family that she is better off as a doctor than a society matron. The plan does not quite happen is expected. Shortly after arriving, the one friend she has been able to make dies and now this young woman suddenly becomes the guardian of 3 youth. The rest of the series, each episode exposes a wound in this frontier town. Some heal within the 45-minute episode, some linger, and some are constantly reopened. Overall the trend is for grievances and scars to heal over, new bonds form, and enemies at the beginning of the show arrive at truces, and even friendship by the end.
It is life, it is love. So often in the show "healing" did not mean restoring the person or relationship back to what it was previously. Healing was a change from what had been before. One example of this change was when the town Reverend went blind. Many townsfolk, including the Reverend himself, saw the physical blindness as God's punishment for some wrong doing. Cloud Dancing, the medicine man on the local reservation, friend and sometimes mentor of Dr. Quinn, helped her reframe her responses as a doctor, and as a parishioner, so as to show her patient that his blindness was not punishment, but a new way, a new path, to walk in the world. The Reverend was healed, not of his physical blindness, but of the affliction and attitude that kept him closed off to other ways of being in the world.
On Sunday, the focus of the service will be thinking about healing, which can take many forms: healing of the body, of the mind, or the spirit or soul. More than that, healing can be outward as well as inward focused - healing of relationships, healing the hurts caused by interactions with others. Healing can also refer to communities recovering from tragedy, healing can refer to warring or feuding nations. Healing can certainly mean care for creation and all that is in it. On Wednesday, April 3, SUPC and SRC are joining together in a healing service at SRC. There will be a Soup-and-Bread supper at 6, followed by the Service of Prayers for Healing at 7. Please mark this time of fellowship with our neighbors on your calendar, come, and join in the prayers with us.
Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd