On Readings for Sunday, October 9, 2022

Opening question for sharing

Share what you do to be refreshed or healed or lifted up during difficult times.  Would it be walking in nature, reading a certain type of book, listening to music, talking with a dear friend, or something else?


2 Kings 5: 1-3, 7-15c

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram.  The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. 

Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.  She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  He would cure him of his leprosy.”

(The king of Aram sends a letter to the king of Israel, asking for healing for Naaman)

          When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy?  Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”

          But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes?  Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.”

          So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house.  Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.”

          But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!  Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?  Could I not wash in them, and be clean?”  He turned and went away in a rage.

          But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it?  How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

          So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.  Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company.  He came and stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.”

Paired Readings

Healing through Affirming Love

          Dr. Conrad Baars, author of Born Only Once wrote that all of us have been born once – physically.  But many of us have not yet been born psychologically because no one has yet sufficiently affirmed us. We have been born only once and we are still waiting for our second, psychic birth, our birth as our true self… 

We know who we are as human beings only when we are seen by another who loves us …The impact of one who sees begins even at the subatomic level.  For example, one of the most startling discoveries of modern physics is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.  It says that we cannot predict with certainty the direction and the velocity of a subatomic particle, because the observer affects what he or she is observing.  Moreover, many physicists now believe that the very nature of matter is changed by being observed: subatomic particles apparently change from waves to particles when they are seen by a human being.

Studies of resilience in children from deeply troubled backgrounds have found that a critical factor in their ability to succeed is the presence of even one loving adult who can bond with that child.  Bonding is seeing and being seen.  Alice Miller calls the one who sees the “enlightened witness, who stands unreservedly on the side of the child, sees that child’s reality through eyes of love, and validates it.

Perhaps an intuition for these ideas is why the Judaeo-Christian tradition holds that God is personal.  Of course, God is at least personal – because only One who is personal can see us.  Thus, healing prayer begins with allowing ourselves to be seen through infinitely loving eyes, thereby affirmed, and born as our true selves…

I cannot affirm myself.  What I can do is put myself in situations where I am likely to receive affirming love, consciously take it in, and let it grow within me.

Simple Ways to Pray for Healing, Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, pp. 14-15, 17


  1. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, breathing in the love of God that surrounds you.
  2. Recall a moment from the past for which you are grateful,

-a moment in which you experienced belonging to yourself, others, God, and the universe. Breathe in that moment, letting it remind you of your lovableness and your goodness.

-a moment in which you were able to give and receive love.  Perhaps you will think of the day you were married, the birth of your child, a conversation with a friend, an experience with nature, a special moment in prayer, a time when you stood up for what you believed.

  • Whatever moment comes to you, imagine yourself back in that situation once more and relive it.  See the people who were with you, hear their voices or other sounds, recall what you smelled and what you felt with your skin.
  • Breathe in deeply, letting the love and gratitude you experienced in that moment fill you once more.

Simple Ways to Pray for Healing, Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, pp. 11-12, 22

Closing Poems and Prayer


I think God might be a little prejudiced.

for once He asked me to join Him on a walk

through this world,

and we gazed into every heart on this earth.

and I noticed He lingered a bit longer

before any face that was


and before any eyes that were


And sometimes when we passed

a soul in worship

God too would kneel


I have come to learn: God

adores His


Francis of Assis


Such love does

the sky now pour,

that whenever I stand in a field,

I have to wring out the light

when I get


Francis of Assisi


Thank you, God, for all the ways I have been healed.
For health in my flesh, the miraculous way
my body knows how to heal itself.
For your healing of my self-esteem,
the gift to see myself whole, as you see me.
For the renewal of my relationship with you,
gratitude where once there was doubt.
For the healing of my hope,
trust where once there was despair.
For the restoration of relationships,
forgiveness where there was brokenness.
For the healing of community,
inclusion where there was division.
For the mending of the world,
where, whether there be disease or not,
and people able-bodied or not,
whether there be justice yet or injustice still,
all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


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