When taking away pain is not enough.
When healing is referred to in the bible, there are probably three types that can be identified; physical, mental and spiritual healing however sometimes these are confused with simply curing, more often the case with physical cures. Just to avoid any confusion, I do not include resurrection, in this context.
Physical healing is clear, like when Jesus gave a blind man sight, a cripple back the ability to walk and cured the ‘unclean’ woman of her bleeding. Then there was mental healing such as when Jesus drove the demons out of Legion. That may just have been a mental illness rather than possession but it remains a miracle, whichever it was.
I’m deliberately saying Spiritual Healing, not the more popular faith healing, because I’m referring to healing of a spirit, or soul perhaps, when someone becomes a follower of Jesus. Spiritual healing might be like when Jesus took Matthew, the tax collector, to be a Disciple. There might be no greater example of spiritual healing than that of Saul of Tarsus, who spent a significant part of his life persecuting Jews but later underwent a dramatic conversion, to become Paul the Apostle then, eventually, Saint Paul. I think that we all find some spiritual healing when we follow Christ.
Is there another kind of healing? Consider: If we say that healing is freedom from pain, whether that pain is physical, mental or spiritual, then healing can be anything that takes away that pain. Healing can also overcome a limitation or disability which, although might not be painful, imposes some kind of restriction on ability.
A doctor, nurse, a hospital or any number of kinds of drug can relieve physical pain. We might turn to a psychiatrist or psychologist if we suffer mentally and if we suffer spiritually, believers would probably turn to a priest for help but there is one more way to overcome pain that fulfils the criteria for healing – Death.
Not only does death take away all pain and overcome disability, it brings the prospect of new life. Eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ where all suffering is ended. Death is the ultimate healing for us all.
Nota Bene: I do not include death by suicide. Life is sacred and only God has the wisdom to know when is appropriate to take away earthly life, and the right and responsibility to do so.