Disability and Healing

by Katherine-Alice Grasham


I never know what to make of stories of miraculous healing in the bible. I am disabled and chronically ill, and so far, have not been healed from any of my ailments (in fact, I keep being diagnosed with more!!) It’s something I wrestle with on a daily basis – why does God heal some people and not others, not me? My best friend preached on the topic of healing recently, and we met up afterwards to chat about it. I was reminded whilst we were talking of a passage from the Inclusive Church Disability Resource by John M. Hull – 

“(Jesus) healed people by helping them to escape the ritual taboos which marked them out as impure, by restoring them to the communities from which they had been banished, by eating and drinking with them, when no-one else would even touch them, and by restoring them to life in all its fullness. In many cases this healing process was accompanied by a cure, but it was the healing that we should emphasise, because it was being healed that saved them.”

Nowadays, although there is obviously still stigma and discrimination against disabled people, we do have laws protecting us, we are sometimes able to work if we are given support and resources, at least in this country. I am still part of my community, and people will still eat and drink with me and touch me. So where is the healing going to happen, if I am not to be given a cure?

I wonder if – for me, anyway – my healing has been the acceptance of my disabilities and limitations. That acceptance has meant that even when I can’t do everything that I’d like to be able to do, I am still living life in all its fullness – the fullness of God’s grace and love. The word “healing” comes from a root that means “to make whole”. I am made whole because I know that God loves and values me, no matter what I can or can’t do. I am also lucky that I am able to speak openly about my illnesses in order that I might help others – that’s healing too. 

These are just my thoughts and ramblings on this topic. It’s very hard to condense into one short post!! But I hope that it will be a starting point for discussions and further thought, and I pray that if you need healing – in whatever form that may come in – that you receive it.

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