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arhyalon

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10:03 am: Writer's Block: Instant wish
If you could have one--and only one--wish granted in the next five minutes, what would you wish? How do you think it would improve your life?

I would wish for the Cherubim to be wise and whole.

My life would be improved in a number of ways. It might be harder in a number of ways, too...but both of those things--any effect on my life at all--is so much not the point.

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From:juliet_winters
Date:June 8th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I understand.
We were asked at a Bible study, if God could fix any one thing what would we choose. Older people chose Alzeheimers. I chose autism.

I think he is wise in ways we don't necessarily understand.
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From:arhyalon
Date:June 8th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
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It's funny, after I wrote that, I thought, well if I had a wish, shouldn't I pick something bigger. If it's one wish, why not cure all autism, not just one little boy.

But that is the thing in my life I most wish I could change, and that's what I thought the question was.

And God can fix these things...and maybe he will.
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From:juliet_winters
Date:June 8th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
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And if He doesn't, we'll trust him on it.
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From:arhyalon
Date:June 8th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
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;-)

To him, they have always been perfect.
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From:annafirtree
Date:June 8th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
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If I may ask... if you believe that God sees him as perfect the way he is, then why would you wish for him to be "whole"? Especially for his sake?
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From:arhyalon
Date:June 8th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
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Healing is when we see things the way God does.

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From:annafirtree
Date:June 8th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
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So you are saying that God sees him without autism? I thought the point of saying that they have always been perfect was that autism is not a lack of perfection... not a defect in God's eyes, but just a part of your son's unique way of being. Do you not see it so?
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From:juliet_winters
Date:June 8th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Of course, our special needs kids are perfect in God's eyes. God looks at the soul. Unfortunately, guidance counselors, employers, classmates, and, yes, certain adults and teachers do not see it so. As mothers, we hurt when they hurt because of situations made more difficult by their disabilities. Nonetheless, we try to prepare them for this world (and the next) as best we can.

Clearly God is not against healing the sick, the blind, the deaf, and the dying, or it would not have been a part of Jesus' ministry.
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From:arhyalon
Date:June 9th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
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Absolutely not. I've heard this "Autism is just different" nonsense and all I can say is I am really tempted to use words much stronger than nonsense!

God sees him as he really is...not as we see him here. God sees him able to think and talk and learn and grow...not stunted and frightened and troubled.

When people have polio or broken legs, no one is so outrageous as to suggest that they might be better off that way. God sees those guys as perfect,too..."as they are in Heaven."

There are several healings of people or children kind of like my son in the Bible. Jesus never asked "Gee, Father, is it all right if I heal this guy, or should I leave him this way?" He had compassion on everyone who came his way. He didn't go "Well, I'll heal the lame and the deaf, but not the dumb. I kind of like them that way. They are unique."

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From:baduin
Date:June 9th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
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Not exactly; in fact only God is perfect.

On the other hand, everything which exists is good - although it could always be better.

Therefore, a sick child is worse than a healthy one - but only in respect to health.

There are namely different levels of goodness: merely existing, physical health, wisdom, moral goodness, and finally spiritual nearness to God, or holiness. Higher levels are obviously more important than lower - but they do not replace them.

It is better to be sick and near to God than healthy and damned, but this does not change the fact that it is better to be healthy than sick.

As for God - he loves everyone, no matter whether sick and healthy, or whether good or evil. However, when speaking about the love of God, it is necessary to remember the fact that "love" of God does not mean the same thing as human love.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm

In particular, in God "there is no change, nor shadow of alteration" (James 1:17). God is always and perfectly happy - no matter what happens to anyone. Of course, God can be said to wrathful at sinner etc, but by this is not meant any change in God, but the change in his relationship to the sinner, and in the end - a change in the sinner.

Finally, God wants us to be holy and to be near him. This is the highest good, and therefore infinitely more important than lower kinds. As for lower kinds of goodness, obviously everything which God does is good - because everything is good - but God certainly does not have to create everything as perfect as it could be.

(It can be readily observed that classical philosophy is different in that aspect. According to the classical philosophy, the world is as good as it could be - and any lacks and evils we observe in the material universe are the necessary results of its being made of matter.)

In fact, after the original sin God had certainly afflicted humanity with many weaknesses, starting with death.

We can guess that the aim of this is to stop men from seeking perfection in the lower kinds of goodness, but instead to encourage them to seek the only perfect Good, that is God himself.
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From:juliet_winters
Date:June 9th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
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I, for one, was not speaking in terms of absolute Perfection when describing my children.

I agree that seeking perfection in the physical realm can certainly lead (and usually does) to a disability within one's soul. This can also happen when seeking what appears to be perfection of one's soul.

Some people might find it odd that my favorite, most comforting Bible verse is: "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
Being raised to attempt a near-perfect and frankly unattainable spiritual standard of perfection(which I still reach for but now with joy instead of fear), it is comforting to know that although the best I can do is still flawed, there is no automatic damnation in its inherent frailty and that others also struggle to the same end.
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From:arhyalon
Date:June 9th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
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"He is of purer eyes than to behold evil."

I've had quite a few healings through prayer and I've literly read thousands of a counts of such healings by others. While what you say above is in keeping with regular Christian Theology.

It is not in keeping with what actually happens, what people actually experience, when healing comes.

"Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." is true! And the truth that makes people free is Genesis 1:31:

"God saw everything he had made and, behold, it was very good."

When you accept what comes next, that man can fall, that man can sin, that man can be sick, or injured, or dying...you can receive spiritual solace, but physical healing just doesn't come.

Full healing, healing of broken bones, cancer, serious illnesses, financial problems, relationship problems, etc. comes when you suddenly see that they never existed to begin with...that God never made them.

The moment you let your thought come into being with God's thought...the way God sees us all the time...that's when the "world" around us changes to reflect God's perfection...what we call health.

I'll give an example. Mark Swinney is a man who was born with a club foot. He prayed and prayed, but his foot did not change. He had some rather spectucular healings in other areas, he had dramatic and uplifting insights, but he would look down again, and his foot was just the same.

This went on for years.

One day, as he was ushering in church, I believe, he was so filled with light that it suddenly came to him "What foot?" He realized in a flash of spiritual light that he had never had a material foot, he had never been anything but God's perfect child. That was how God had made him.

He did not look down.

Some time later, he did look at his foot again, and it was straight and whole. His club foot had been healed.

Some years later, he had a daughter. He looked at his little infant girl and saw the same club foot. He covererd her leg and prayed, remembering what had come to him during his healing. By the next time anyone looked at the child's leg, her foot was normal.

This is just one healing of thousands and thousands...and they all reflect the same theme. As long as we hold to the problem or think of it as something God sees or thinks is legit, healing does not come...but when we turn everything over to God and trust that not only is He perfect, but everything he made is perfect, we see that perfection around us.

Mark Swinney now spends all his time healing other people through prayer. He has a website where you can email him, should you have any questions about whether I represented his experience correctly: http://swinneycsb.org/
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From:baduin
Date:June 9th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
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Christian Science seems to me to be a rather dangerous movement.

As for healing by faith, there are two, or to be precise, three types: "normal", preternatural and supernatural.

What I would call "normal" faith healing is what is generally called "placebo effect". According to me it is at least partially the effect of the influence of the soul on body (our own or somebody's else). This effect is very common, but usually not very strong. It can be probably trained to a degree, but it will always have limits.

The preternatural healing is done by angels and, possibly, by other spirits. The supernatural healing is done by God as a miracle. The difference between the two is very important from the theological point of view, but impossible to distinguish in practice.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06553a.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10338a.htm

The faith healing, the healing by holy Mass and Eucharist, healing by prayer etc can work in two ways: either by strengthening the influence of the mind on body (ie similar to placebo effect), or by miracles, supernatural or preternatural.

Strong belief in the efficacy of the cure seems to be an important factor in the placebo effect; according to all authorities, strong faith is required for miracles - but I am not sure faith has the same meaning in both cases. In the first case, belief is merely psychic, while in the second, faith should be pneumatic, or supernatural.

From what I have read at least some fractions of Christian Science encouraged people to be certain of healing and blaimed all lack of healing on insufficient faith in the healing.

This is dubious - natural effects of healing due to belief have limited efficacy and even with the strongest emotional certitude cannot heal everything, while miracles cannot be "forced" by enthusiastic, psychic belief. On the other hand, faith in God is a supernatural gift from God, directed mostly at salvation. It can certainly be accompanied by miracles, including healing, but healing is not its point.

In short, considering matters from the theoretical point of view, the Christian Science method of faith healing is certainly not ensuring success in all cases, and in fact may even not be the most efficacious method of faith healing.

On the other hand, my rather sceptical attitude is certainly not conductive to any kind of faith healing at all.

The insistence on emotional belief is a typical aspect of American religiousness. It is certainly not something wrong; in fact I consider it to be the ultimate form of religion in the Western civilisation. But it should be remembered that it is not the only or the highest form of faith.

As to God's vision: God is omniscient, and that means that He knows everything which exist or could exist, actually or potentially.

"God saw everything he had made and, behold, it was very good."

That is a very basic philosophical principle, in fact, one of three axioms of metaphysics: Everything which is is good. Even a sick child is very good - but it does not mean it is actually healthy - although of course it potentially is so, and one of its final causes - but not the ultimate one - is to be healthy.

Similarly, God sees everything, present, past and future. He also sees all potential pasts, presents and futures. He therefore certainly can see the sick man as if he was born healthy, as he could be potentially healed in the future, as he should finally be, and as he will be healthy in the future (either in this world, or in Paradise). But He also sees as the man is actually at present. Certainly, for God the present form of body is much less important that its final form, but God sees all.
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From:arhyalon
Date:June 9th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
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I am a third generation Christian Scientist who is friends with four and fifth generation Christian Scientists, so between us we have seen a great deal of healing. Some of these families have relied on Christian Science for ever health problem that has ever arrisen.

Sometimes healing comes quickly, sometimes it is a long time coming...but the principle in both cases is the same.

It is not a physical difficulty that is being healed, but a misunderstanding about God or our relationship to him. When our thoughts change, healing follows.

Sometimes, our thoughts change instantly and the healing is instant. Other times, it can take twenty years before a person opens their thoughts enough to God to let go of some misconception or fear--though in long time healings, there are often many small healings and realizations along the way.

I've suffered through quite a few things that friends solved quickly with medicine. But I've learned things...realizations, healings, gained clarity that has helped me heal other things more quickly. I would not give up any one of those insights for a few minutes less physical discomfort.

It's not that I like the discomfort. I don't. Not at all...it's that I value spiritual growth and understanding more than I value a temporary change in a current condition.

Because the spiritual progress is perminent. There are certain problems I find heal very quickly because I've worked through them before. Eventually, with such problems, one often has an even greater moment of understanding and never need face the problem again.

I've seen Lime's disease healed, a heart attack stopped, a broken foot healed, illnesses stopped in their tracks, rashes vanish, and that's just a few of the physical things.

One of the big differences between CS and the placibo effect is that it is useful for anything. Finances, quandries, relationships, finding lost things...and each time it works the same way...when we understand the reason why the the problem is not part of God's kingdom, the problem vanishes...doesn't have to be a physical problem, could be anything.

One time I had a problem that was terrifying me. One day, I heard like a voice "Be not dismayed." I thought to myself: "Why would God tell me not to be dismayed if there was anything to worry about? He would not tell me something wrong. If there were something to fear, I should be afraid, right? So there must be nothing to fear."

The problem disappeared, which was great, but that lesson has been so useful to me. There are so many things in my life that have been improved by the understanding that no matter what my eyes and ears tell me, there really is nothing to be dismayed about.

Do I remember all the time...no, often I forget. But it has helped me many times.

It's like what the Lord's prayer says: "Thy will be in earth as it is in heaven." In heaven, all is perfect. When what is around us is in accord with God's will, that is what we see.

Our spiritual growth here on earth is a work in progress. None of us understand enough to see all good all the time. But the moment when sudden realization strikes you and you see through yet another deception of the world and some problem, either new or longstanding, vanishes from your life is so glorious...it's worth every laborous step necessary to reach it.
[User Picture]
From:bojojoti
Date:June 8th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
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Of all of God's creations, I believe I cherish a mother's heart most.
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