We have in the midst of us, Christ’s healing power. The source of this God-given power comes to us through people, through prayer, and through communion with each other. This healing power might seem foreign to us, so we don’t quite trust it. For sure, we don’t want to be fooled by a “snake oil” salesman. It seems to us like a fantasy or wishful thinking. Is it really that easy? Just say it and you’re healed. Really? Yes, really!
We have something in psychology called abreaction, also known as the “talking cure.” Successful outcomes in therapy, use abreaction liberally. Unfortunately for us, we have to navigate living in society where we have to put on a “fake” face so we can hide our pain and our weaknesses. We definitely don’t want other respectable people to see our dark side. We keep that locked up and tucked away, so it never sees the light of day. By doing this, we develop strongholds, where that dark side festers and grows. Opening ourselves to the “talking cure” is a very important step in the healing process. More recently, the term morphogenesis has been used to describe our fields of consciousness. It is how we relate to the emotional content around us-a kind of resonance. If we carry a resonance for peace, most likely we will be drawn to peaceful experiences, but if we have a high resonance for fear, we will be drawn to fearful experiences. By becoming more conscious, we become clear enough to be less influenced by negative strongholds and resonate instead with more positive fields.
Paul refers to these spiritual “fortresses” or strongholds in 2 Corinthians. Psychotherapy and Paul are in agreement here because in order to manage this dark side, it must be made conscious and brought out in the open. We need to talk it through-and even wrestle with it at times. Transparency or what I call becoming “childlike” is how we heal. It is through this act of acknowledging our pain and weaknesses, that we destroy those strongholds. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” These pretensions have to do with anything proud, man-centered, and self- absorbed.
Abigail Van Buren from “Dear Abby” newspaper fame, graced us with good practical advice over the years. One quotable quote made an impression on me, “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” What we know about the healing of our emotional wounds is that we need to be open and transparent with those we love. Ideally, if we can get past the facades, a Christian church is just the place for us to heal.
Hanging in the Grip of His Grace, I am
Kathryn Den Houter