When My Friend Offered to Pray for My Soul Because I'm Chronically Ill
This summer I was in the hospital for a nine day stay with an ear infection that had spread to my bones. I have a progressive form of muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s disease, so because of my weakened immune system, an ear infection or some other illness pushes my body over the edge. I know many of you can relate.
During my hospital stay and the four weeks of home care and IV antibiotics that followed, many friends were praying for me. Several friends sent cards, stopped by for a visit, and brought by meals when I was too weak to cook. I love them for it and feel truly blessed.
Something I am currently struggling with is a text from an acquaintance who had heard I was sick. She wanted to come over to “pray over me” and “pray for my soul” and “get to the bottom of ‘this.'”
“You’ve already been healed,” she said, “You just haven’t received the healing yet.”
I can tell you that at first I was in shock, then I was hurt, then angry. I now realize that although this person most certainly has good intentions and strong personal convictions, her words are judgmental and cruel.
As a Christian, I have a strong faith. I believe in a God who can do anything He so chooses. Sometimes God has other plans and I believe He uses our lives to help point to Him and His goodness. I also believe that sometimes it takes more faith to serve God when our lives are difficult than it takes to serve God when all seems easy. It frustrates me to no end when others twist scriptures to support their misguided views, especially when they hurt others. To cast blame on a person for being physically or mentally sick is just downright wrong.
I strive to be the healthiest person I can be. It does suck sometimes to adjust to being in a wheelchair and deal with the struggles that come along with that and prolonged illness – but I love my life and don’t view myself as someone who needs to be “fixed.” I long for a day when others will see the person first, not their wheelchair, not their disability.
I usually try to talk with other people, but in this case, I realize that no matter how I respond to this person, she is firmly fixed in her belief system. The more I say “no,” the darker she believes me soul is. I think in this situation, I’ve decided that no response is the strongest response. I don’t have enough spoons in my day to waste much needed energy on this person. My soul is fine, thank you.
How have you responded in similar situations? I’d love to hear from you and hear your stories!
Getty Image by Sasiistock