The role of community in healing: a series of staff writings


What does it mean to be a healing community?

In my perspective, one of the main roles of a healing community is to become a new, spiritual family for people who are broken. The deepest human need is for the unconditional love of a father and a mother, and many have not received this love or suffered harm at the hands of their parents. Through the love of our Heavenly Father, the Church can express holy love that fills in the gaps and heals the wounds caused by our natural families. In this context, people can learn how to form new, healthy relationships. (To read more about this, ask me about a really wonderful article called Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You by a group called The Shepherd’s House.)

I see this type of family bonding or “adoption” happening inside the Good Works community to some degree. My mind goes to the loyal friendships that have been formed between particular staff members, Senior Friends, and former residents to name a few. Yet, I believe God can take us deeper in becoming a spiritual family for each other and those we serve. Our everyday choices can lead us towards greater capacity for love: we must choose every day to grow in our own maturity (healing), and to strengthen our relationships with each other. Having done this, when the time comes for us to embrace someone in need, whoever they may be, we will be prepared.

Finally, I believe that healing—an action of God—happens as the Church knows the good will of God and asks God to release this goodness into someone’s life. God wants us to ask, and persist in asking. A healing community brings broken people to Jesus through their prayers of faith. When we really don’t know how or what to pray, we know the Holy Spirit is interceding for us according to God’s will.

What does it mean to be a healing community? We ask God for gifts of healing, we help people reconcile to Jesus, the Healer, we walk with each other in the delicate process of growth, we embrace broken people in love, and most of all, we wait patiently, in hope for the day when all will be well.

— Dawn Tobin

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Filed under Food for thought, Wrestling with issues of perspective

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