Dreams of Healing

November 26, 2013

After a weekend of mundane challenges, I’ve had two very positive days and am feeling fine today. Yesterday was my last chemotherapy of “Round 1,” so I have a rest from those particular rigors until December 16. Daily radiation keeps up the attack on the Beast, a foreigner that is doomed. It should just give up now.

I had quite a night though—profuse sweating at times, vivid dreams, no sickness whatsoever, and actually pretty darn good sleep despite all the activity. The medical explanation for the night sweats is probably that super-duper steroid they give me with the chemo. I am subject to prolonged “flushes”: a red face and lots of perspiration over hours sometimes. In the midst of all that, I had a dream, a crazy, wonderful, cast-of-thousands dream. I dreamed that the night sweats were draining away the cancer, every tumor, node, and/or microscopic cell and nefarious manifestation. I felt completely whole and unimpeded by fatigue or sickness, energized for today. I dreamed that God did this with a broad sweep of his hand, and that it was a game-changer, the gateway to a transformed life and ministry.

From a clinical view and what I understand about dreams, at the very least, this tells me even my subconscious is ready and willing to receive the miracle of healing. That means I am “all in” body, mind, and spirit: a willing participant in treatment, a willing recipient of your prayers for healing, and a willing observer of progress (or setback), because I am committed to being honest. It is worth noting, when one is sick, sometimes the hardest honesty to maintain is the continued recognition of the good things one is experiencing.

So what is “healing” all about? I quote my friend Craig Pynn, who has walked this journey ahead of me and commented on my Caring Bridge post this morning:

I really appreciate that you say “healing” and not “cured.” As an owner of Stage III cancer, you’re being treated with what the cancer industry calls “curative intent”—a tacit admission that a complete “cure” is not guaranteed and recurrence always lurks off stage. But just because you may never be definitively “cured” does not mean you won’t be definitively healed.

“Healing” is such a rich, multi-dimensional word because it includes not just the physical, but the emotional—and above all—the spiritual components of what it means to be a whole person in Jesus Christ.

The “cancer industry” cannot in good faith declare a cure because it evaluates the situation by a different set of numbers. Healing is possible for me because I am looking at this with 1 (One) as my primary number. And God can heal; even more than that, God can cure.

Jesus cured the people he touched. We have no example of him not curing, being unable to cure, or refusing to cure. Rather, we have lots of examples of his offering cure beyond what was requested. The paralytic lowered through the roof to Jesus’ feet desperately asked for the healing of his disability. Jesus first cured his soul, “Your sins are forgiven,” and then to back up the claim that he had the authority to cure the whole person, he said, “Time to stand up and walk!” (Matthew 9, with parallels). I doubt that chap thought much about the possibility of a recurrence, though we know that some day in his future he did die of something. So was he healed? Yes. Was he cured? Yes. Did he eventually die? Yes. And so it is with us. “How precious in God’s sight is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).

I am absolutely assured that God is and will be healing me. I can feel it. My days are rich relationally, emotionally, mentally, and even physically I have a lot to be thankful for. Will God cure me of cancer? This I cannot predict, though I believe God is able to vanquish this puny but obnoxious Foe with a stroke of his hand. Period. I do not take my dream to be predictive, but descriptive of my mindset on the matter—my full conscious and subconscious are focused on God doing whatever wondrous thing God chooses to do for as long as God desires to do it.

There was another facet to the dream: as a result of the healing I experienced therein, my ministry assignment was redirected, re-energized, empowered, and organized by that same healing God. It was fun and exciting to see the directions this was taking me. The new ministry didn’t seem to have anything to do with cancer—though I am aware my posts have gained a new readership among fellow “cancer owners”— but just that there was a joyful season ahead of collaborative ministry that benefited many people. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with that!



6 Responses to “Dreams of Healing”

  1. emd5542 Says:

    Please keep laying it on us, revmary. God has given you a new and vital ministry and perhaps there are many thick heads out there that need softening to be receptive to Truth. No doubt we could all do with some healing–mind, body and spirit. So preach it, Sister, while God tends to you and we continue to lift you in prayer. “What Wondrous Love Is This….”

  2. L. Lee Says:

    Meditating on your post today as I prepare for Thanksgiving…..
    Great hope, peace, love in our God demonstrated in your
    faithful, heartfelt words.

  3. Sandi Hartley Says:

    God is using you mightily, Mary!

  4. Mary, very grateful for your posts – know you from a distance, we’ve shared space together at WCPPC and other conferences – just never met!
    Had the privilege of wrestling some with the healing of the paralytic once when I was in Capernaum. It’s interesting that there is no mention in the Gospel accounts of why the paralytic was brought to Jesus. He never speaks, either. To say that he came and, “desperately asked for the healing of his disability” is understandable from our own experiences or hopes – but it’s not in the Text. Mark and Luke (if telling of the same event as Matt), have the friends digging a hole in a roof (a rather difficult and laborious task) to lower him (their friend? no mention of relationship) so that he can be brought before Jesus – “laid before him” (Luke). Why? Mark & Luke make this a teaching event (Luke says the power of the Lord to heal was with Jesus). Maybe this is more about a paralytic longing to hear/shema Jesus teach – something he could not do in his paralysis with the home so full, or Jesus surrounded by others. If it was only about a longing to be healed they could have waited until Jesus left the house.
    And it’s interesting that Jesus recognizes “their” faith (all 3 Gospels) (those who brought him – but also the man?) – faith for what purpose is a question. I do think, at the very least, and maybe the most important – faith to lie “before” Jesus – at his feet, the position of one who would hear. And in the end – sick or well, paralyzed in whatever form, isn’t that where faith ought best take us?

    • Mary Naegeli Says:

      Yep, Bruce, bad girl. My imagination got the better of me. Your point and application are well-taken, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts!

      • No intention or desire to point out, or make you feel any “badness” in imagination, Mary! I have to “imagine” as well that there was hope for healing stirring in the paralytic. He must have heard of Jesus’ healings. But I also know that for me – and I think for many – that sometimes the longing to be “cured” can get in the way of “hearing.” I know all too well how to want Jesus to make my life better – give me a full time ministry job again (no, really), take away my pain, my sickness, my disease/dis-ease – OR that of my friend. And I know all too well my own stuff can get in the way of having ears to shema.
        I’m grateful you are listening, Mary – and helping us hear. I pray your imagination runs wildly attuned to the voice and teaching of Jesus – to all of God’s Word. I also pray you’re healed – cured, even!

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