Healing at Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchJournalist Bob Garfield has often reported on the eccentric and unique features of human nature. In 1992, Garfield spent some time in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he met people from all walks of life who were trying to find healing or wholeness through things such as aura-balancing, drum-beating ceremonies, ancient mystical therapies, crystals, astrology, spiritual channeling, and so on. Even in a Santa Fe health food store, Garfield found some unusual approaches to medicine. Rather than containing the average mix of vitamins and herbs, this store offered vitamin and herb mixes called, “Luminous Spirit, Positive Attitude, Women’s Courage, Emotional Rescue, Clearing Hate, Clearing Greed, Humiliation, (and) Children of Divorce.”

Picking up on Garfield’s unusual find, the Rev. King Duncan wrote, “If only we could find emotional rescue or spiritual growth in a pill! But it’s not that easy.”

Duncan then raised the question, “Where do we turn for help?”

There is no doubt of a deep hunger in our society for healing, wholeness, and meaning. In Psalm 121 we read this promise…

I lift up my eyes to the hills—

from where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.

The spiritual well-being that we desire may not come easily or overnight. But it has been the experience of people of faith down through the millennia that when we turn to God, God is faithful.

Our prayer today is another one that has been handed down by people of faith across the generations. It comes from Psalm 25. Let us pray:

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

Show me your ways, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and lead me,

for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,

for they are from of old.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,

for I am lonely and afflicted.

Relieve the troubles of my heart

and free me from my anguish.

Look on my affliction and my distress

and take away all my sins.

Guard my life and rescue me;

for I take refuge in you.

My hope, O Lord, is in you. Deliver us, from all our troubles! Amen.

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Photograph by Katherine Hanlon