by Rev. Terry Tripp, CFDM Co-Director
This summer my youngest daughter and I traveled to Ireland and Scotland. It was a trip a year in planning and a life time of desire. It did not disappoint on so many levels. One of the loveliest moments of the trip came the last evening while staying on the Isle of Iona on the west coast of Scotland. This is where St. Columba arrived from Ireland in 563 to set up a ministry of discipleship and healing. There has been in some form or another a vital faith presence there since. On the Tuesday evening that we were there, the abbey had their service of healing. It was quite something to have nearly 400 people from all over the world praying for the world and individuals alike for wholeness – for Christ’s touch of peace; for shalom in body, mind and spirit.
We are all “wounded healers” – God’s people doing, praying, saying, and living as instruments of His peace and wholeness in this hurting world. Prayer is a powerful tool in the vastness of pain that permeates our lives. I have been so moved by the suffering recently, not only in Houston, but in Bangladesh and India, because of storms that ravaged people’s lives. As we hold their vulnerability, we become vulnerable to their loss and come before our God who is at work in the darkest places. These words of Peter Millar (an associate of the community at Iona) from his book, “An Iona Prayer Book”, say well our call to prayer for healing for one another and the world:
Prayer lies at the heart of Christ’s ministry of healing, so when we pray we are joining with him in the vital work of redeeming and transfiguring this world. Through our intercessions we are not seeking to change God, but rather to open up the possibility that his healing energy may permeate our human condition. In this, we recall the wonderful words of Jesus which are true even in the most painful situation: ‘Come to me all you who are troubled and I will give you rest.’ We all carry many hurts and pains in our lives, yet in the power of the Holy Spirit we can be instruments of healing – ‘wounded healers’ for one another. We offer our prayers for others, always recognizing our own vulnerability.
To pray is be vulnerable. To seek God for his will to be done in the suffering of others, is to identify with that suffering and be changed by it. More compassion, more grace, more humility, more love, more of all that God wants to fill us up with. Join me in praying for healing for the world and one another in all our vulnerability.