BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER
“I want to be a healer.” This thought popped into my head as Dave started his kickoff sermon in the A Why to Live For series. I quickly recognized the thought as a distinct nudge from the Holy Spirit—because five minutes after the thought popped into my head, Dave unveiled the six callings that align with the six broken places of the world for the very first time. He identified a Healer as someone who is called to remedy the physical, mental or spiritual pain of others. I picked my jaw up off the floor and continued to listen intently to the remainder of the sermon—but I was struggling a little: “Me? Why a Healer? You lost me.”
I wrestled with the thought of myself as a Healer for the next several days. I had never really thought of myself as one who actually heals—but the Holy Spirit had so distinctly spoken to me about it. As much as we’ve learned about the broken places of the world over the last few years at Grace Church, I’ve always had a difficult time picking the one that stands out to me the most. I have to be honest, Pain was never on my radar as “the one.” But I continued to wrestle and process my thoughts as I dove into Dave’s new book following the launch event that Monday.
The first way I started to identify as a Healer in the days following that first sermon was in the deep gratification I have recently experienced in witnessing the diminishing mental and spiritual pain of someone I love dearly. I had shared a spiritual resource with this person that has impacted him so deeply that others have noticed and commented on the unmistakable evidence that he is in a process of healing. The profound joy and faith that has come from moving in and helping to ignite that spark makes me want to replicate it with other people I love who are hurting.
I acknowledged that I’m definitely drawn to healing pain, but I still struggled with this sense of caring deeply about all the other broken places. This first time I heard Dave speak on the broken places, I thought that Decay was my spot. But this week I’ve realized that the reason I care so much about Creation is that its decay causes people pain, especially in the form of debilitating diseases that attack our bodies (which are part of Creation). I also feel strongly about Hatred. And once again, for me it’s because actions driven by hatred cause people tremendous pain. It’s a vicious cycle. And then it dawned on me—I care deeply about all of the broken places, because all of the brokenness will either cause or worsen pain. I understand now that the reason I want to heal pain is this: The more people who experience healing, the more recruits we have to build the Kingdom and fix all of the brokenness. That’s what the Holy Spirit was pointing me to on Sunday morning.
Once the Holy Spirit woke me up to my calling as a Healer, it clearly revealed to me that I’ve been moving in the world as a Healer for a very long time already. Even if I didn’t recognize it before, it’s been part of who I am my whole life. I most relate to people through pain and healing, even more so since emerging from the valley of the shadow of death with my faith still intact.
I began blogging 5 years ago at the urging of the Holy Spirit, and since then, I’ve written a lot of words about my own pain, and my hope and healing in the midst of it. Although I rarely receive direct feedback about the real impact those stories make, there have been plenty of clues that I’m reaching people who are suffering in pain.
The biggest clue hit me in the face two years ago. I noticed in the stats of my personal blog that someone using the search term “totally done with my life” had landed on one of my stories. I instantly felt the shock of pain surging through their words. I sensed the utter isolation that had led them to turn to a search engine for help with the immense weight of their suffering. And I desperately prayed that this person, who was totally done with their life, was blessed with a seed of hope as they read through my story 5 Days That Totally Changed the Course of My Life. Maybe, just maybe, God had put those words on my heart two years earlier just for that person in just that moment. I remember asking God that day to use me as a healing voice on the other end of the search engine for all who are isolated and suffering in pain. I wanted to be a Healer.
I’m embracing it. I am a Healer. God has sewn together an incredibly unique calling quilt for me to be a healing voice in the world, ready to be discovered by suffering readers who feel they have nowhere to turn but the internet. I’ll be there, freely handing out seeds of hope and healing in the midst of their pain—even if it’s 2am when they are overwhelmed by the darkness. I may never see some of those seeds growing, but I can taste the sweet fruit of the Spirit as I move in the world with a purpose of healing.
What’s Your Calling?
Are you a Healer? There are so many ways to heal pain, and so many suffering people who need it. Get connected with serving opportunities through Grace Church and its ministry partners here. We have opportunities for all callings.
If you have been blessed with the ability and passion to write, join me and other writers who are living out our callings serving with the Communications Team at Grace Church! Whether you’re a Healer, Champion, Ambassador, Activist, Nurturer or Steward, your stories will impact our world and inspire other Kingdom builders. Here are a few simple ways to get plugged in specifically to your calling:
Healer of Pain
Champion of Justice
Ambassador of Separation
Activist Against Hatred
Nurturer of Isolation
Steward of Decay