Sunday, 21 June 2009

Of healing builders

Last week I went to see a healer. He's a little builder with a strange nickname beginning with P (best not say what for reasons of confidentiality) who has only recently discovered that he has powers of healing, and he came highly recommended. So there we were, P and I, in the middle of this building site, surrounded by burly men with wheelbarrows, with P's hand on my bottom (or thereabouts) and P telling me how he goes to Heaven on Saturday afternoons, and yes, there is a Hell, he's seen it too ("you don't want to go there," says P. Too right I don't), and in about a week I'll be healed. Afterwards, he gave me a hug and sent me on my way. A week later, I'm not healed. Not at all. And have been gullible enough to be a bit disappointed. My daughter, who is even more gullible, is even more disappointed (although P appears to have been able to heal her), and my scientific sons, one of whom is a doctor, who were very cynical about the whole thing, have been kind enough not to enquire. So I shall have to resort to normal medicine and have an operation, which is a nuisance. But I am bemused by P and his tales of Heaven and Hell and his assurances that everything will be All Right In The End (unless you're a paedophile, says P, although I think this bit may just be wishful thinking on the part of P). A bit of me believes in P, and quite a lot of me doesn't. But all these builders, busy building things while P heals people, seem to believe in him, because he appears to have healed most of them in some way or another. So why not me? It's all very odd.


  1. All very perplexing, isn't it? On Saturday my Other Half, older son and I had just had breakfast in town and were walking home when I was hailed by somebody I used to know well but had lost touch with since my divorce. It turned out she was with a church healing group and, lo and behold, behind her people were sitting on folding chairs while others knelt in front of them, praying quietly. My erstwhile acquaintance filled us in - 'we're here every Saturday' she said, 'just offering to pray for healing. And amazing things have happened - back problems gone, one woman even had her deafness healed!'
    We made suitably 'well I never, isn't God amazing' noises and hoped the rest of their healing morning went well. As we left, my son turned to me and muttered, 'the back thing's clearly placebo but I'm more impressed by the deafness'. I was touched that he hadn't, for a second, imagined that our informant had been over-egging the pudding or, herself, the victim of exaggeration or worse. For my own part, I've seen backs being healed in my own family so was inclined to challenge my son's easy 'placebo' response. But deafness I found more difficult...

    Whatever the truth about healing (and I'm positive that that truth will turn out to be a good deal more complex than most people would like to believe) I'm sorry you're having to face the prospect of an operation, Frances. Here's hoping P was a few days out in his prediction...

  2. Thanks, Alis. I think that I didn't have quite the faith in P that my daughter had, especially when he went on to tell me there are houses in Heaven...why would we need houses? They would all have to be the same, wouldn't they, or we might get jealous of each other, and then it wouldn't be Heaven. But P certainly has something. I'm just not sure what. But I agree with your son about the deafness. Deafness is advanced stuff. As for the placebo effect, I'd be happy to have that if it worked, but it clearly hasn't.

  3. Well, there must be houses in heaven. Else what would all the builders do?

    I've been reading some interesting things about the brain lately, and in fact it IS possible for deafness to be reversed if the problem is in the brain rather than in the nerve endings in the ear. All manner of brain functions can be remapped (including recovery from many kinds of stroke damage), but until recently the theory that brains were relatively "unplastic" prevented any real work from occuring in this area.

    I think mind, spirit, and will can provide powerful healing effects. But it really helps if they are in a framework the ailing person can believe in...

    Good luck (and a belated welcome to the blogroll!)

  4. Thanks, David. Yes - the brain is remarkable, and healing's a funny thing. I have a magic friend who does Reiki, and she's trained me to do it too. I still have doubts because I don't feel anything happening when I do it to people, but apparently they do. Sometimes. The horse quite likes it, but then he's very suggestible.