Fellowship of Heretics Daily Devotional: October 7, 2016 — I was sick, and you cared for me

Compiled by Mercy Junction Council Member Sadie Morgan

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” — James 5:14


I grew up with religious experiences that always seemed strange to me. My mom would put her hand on the TV screen when Oral Roberts asked his audience to do so. A Baptist minister, beloved by my family, would come to the house for my mom to manicure his nails. I didn’t mind that much, but he wanted us to pray on our knees before he left, and I hated that. My mom would write letters to some group who would send her “anointed prayer clothes” to use for my healing from various childhood maladies.

The receipt of the “prayer cloths” acquainted me with the above-quoted verse. My mother called on elders constantly as she obsessed with my well-being. Somehow I didn’t think an envelope with a tiny square of fabric was going to do that much. But I’m still here, so who knows?

As I’ve grown and explored roots of my own faith, I think the above instructions acknowledge something that modern psychology confirms: We need others. We especially need to reach out to our friends and mentors when we are struggling with illness or other types of crisis in our lives –- the very times when we are likely to withdraw from human contact. When struggling with sickness and depression, it is indeed an anointing of the soul to have companions who will come, perhaps “pray over” us –- in these ways validating our worth and showing us we are needed in the world. Sometimes this is enough to allow healing to begin.

This verse also shows the principle of reciprocity in relationships. It is incumbent upon us to “call” -– to reach out and let others know honestly our state of being. Then it is incumbent on those others to respond to the call for help. Again, we need each other, for healing and for living meaningful lives.

Today’s Action: If you are sick or sad or angry, instead of offering a glib “I’m OK” when some one asks, take the chance of giving an honest answer. If someone confides in you a problem they are struggling with, ask what you can do. Remember we need each other. 

Today’s Sharing: How have others helped you to heal from physical or mental illness. We’d like to hear. Share your stories on our Facebook page at facebook.com/holyhereticzine. 

** Don’t forget your gratitude journal at the back of your print edition of Holy Heretic!

To learn more about becoming a member of the Fellowship of Heretics and receiving our print daily devotional guide each month, visithttp://www.mercyjunction.org/fellowship-of-heretics


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