A while ago I was channel surfing on my TV and caught site of a preacher wearing a white Armani silk suite speaking to a huge audience in an arena somewhere in the Southeast region of the United States. The show was about the power of healing. There were several people lined up to go on stage. The first one was an obese woman who said that she was unable to climb stairs until she came to the steps of this stage. The preacher said, “It’s a miracle folks! Let’s have a big hand for the Lord!” Everyone applauded while the man in the white suit slapped the woman on the forehead to drive out the devil. The woman fell backwards into the arms of two men who eased her to the floor where she stayed on her back writhing as if she was having a seizure. Another woman claimed that she was stone deaf for 17 years and suddenly she was able to hear.
The preacher said, “Can you hear me now?”
The woman replied, “Yes!”
“You were deaf and now you can hear! Let’s have a big hand for the Lord!” He slapped her forehead also and she fell backwards and had a “seizure.”
This continued with a few more people claiming miraculous cures of various ailments that had just occurred moments earlier. What was really astounding was that the audience was mesmerized by such cheap theatrics. Then it occurred to me that those people wanted to believe that they were witnessing revealed miracles. They didn’t ask questions; they just accepted everything as true and filled hundreds of buckets with cash.
The query is, what can we learn from this? First, it is not difficult to understand why the audience was so gullible. They were starving for spiritual connection. Since we mostly view the world purely from a materialist perspective, most of us are unable to find the miraculous in the mundane. Thus people grab at anything to believe that they have witnessed a divine revelation. It is also much easier to rely on miracles than to take responsibility for our thoughts, speech and actions to learn about illnesses, evaluate treatment options and transform to healthier life styles
Second, we do have access to the power of prayer but we have to remember that while we must ask G-d for help, we are not allowed to rely on miracles. Revealed miracles require special circumstances and/or merit and it is the epitome of arrogance to take no action in contemplation of a miraculous cure. Miracles do happen in answer to prayer, but by initiating proper action we make ourselves into a vessel to receive the Divine intervention.
Finally, we all have a multitude of healing energies flowing within our bodies. We have hormones that relieve pain called “endorphins” and our immune systems can eradicate infections and build up antibodies to make us resistant to the same “bug”. We also have a system of white blood cells that are constantly on a seek and destroy mission against foreign invaders as well as hormones that produce many varieties of reactions to stimulate the body into repairing damaged tissue. Accordingly, many cultures have developed legitimate learnable methods of meditation prayer to reach inward and enhance the healing power from within.
In summary, there are many charlatans who pass themselves off as spiritual healers and there are those who are the genuine article. To distinguish between the true healers and the hacks one need only to ascertain whether the person purporting to help is asking the patient to abandon all other treatment options. The other telltale sign is being told, “If your faith isn’t strong enough this won’t work.” The scam artist will always blame the victim for “Not having enough faith.” Therefore, true spiritual healing is a proper balance between prayer and appropriate action and it is mostly a private interaction between the afflicted person and G-d. We all would do well to remember that “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck” it’s most probably a quack.