From the Editor-In-Chief
May God fill your life with abundant peace and health!
The self-portrayal of God in Exodus 15:26 is dear to my heart. In it, God says, “I am the LORD who heals you” (NRSV; emphasis added). The Semitic cognates of the verb used here suggest that the Hebrew may have included an underlying meaning of “stitching.” When we are broken and torn, the Lord stitches us and restores us to health. The Lord is our healer.
I find the same healing power at work in everyone who is in the business of nursing the sick back to health. Of course, today it is not unusual to be helped by a cynical professional who would not attribute the process of healing to divine involvement. However, I am yet to meet a doctor or a nurse who would dismiss the good of religion, although such a posture has been widely reported. Perhaps I am extremely blessed to be with those healers who affirm that God takes interest in our well-being and health. Our authors seem to have shared the same blessing, as they lift up preachers and health professionals as co-laborers who deliver God’s gift of well-being to all living beings.
Although the healer’s role is clearly defined, we are often ministered to by those who receive care or medical treatment. Many of us have in our prayer terminal patients, whose resilience and humor grace us in the most difficult hour of their life. Sometimes patients reverse their roles and attend to our aching hearts. Whenever that happens, we have a moment to celebrate. We will always be grateful for healers around us, and yet I am sure professional healers would join me when I number among the healers those whom society may classify as ill or invalid but who have made such a difference in our life through their tenacity and love.
I myself am accustomed to driving a sharp wedge between healers and the rest of the world. I am illumined by our authors in this issue, who help us realize debilitating illnesses are life situations that deserve our respect. Whatever illness or side effect or aftermath one may have does not define who he or she is. Pulpits once again are invited to be the channel of peace and health, as preachers lift up the precious opportunities to care that healers share with those who benefit from their skills and kindnesses.
The healer’s ministry also reminds us of our individual responsibility for taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. An ancient Korean doctor once said that no one dies of a natural cause. According to him, we all die prematurely, for we consume what we should not take in, while refusing to eat what makes us healthy. His argument may be extended to suggest that we are responsible for the health and well-being of those who are around us, as well. In this issue, our authors not only guide us through the traditions and practices of healing but also call our attention to promoting health for others.
My TLP ministry team is blessed to bring to you the abundant well-being that originated from the throne of God’s grace and now flows through the pages of this issue on The HEALER.
Peace to you,
Jin H. Han, PhD
Editor in Chief