On faith and healing

Jerry is schizophrenic.* He is able to live on his own when things are going well, although he is unable to hold a job or do much more than manage a daily routine. He is medicated and regularly spends time in a facility. He is a member of the church and for many years I was his home teacher.

One day at church, another ward member said that if Jerry prayed and fasted he might be cured. With enough faith, he said, we could do anything. This young man offered to give Jerry a blessing, which frightened Jerry. Jerry agreed to a blessing if I would give it. The other man suggested an anointing and blessing for the healing of the sick, but after having his options explained, Jerry elected for a blessing of comfort instead. My blessing was a plea for calm and peace in Jerry’s soul as I felt spiritually directed.

My first reaction was to be angry. It seemed to me that this young guy, long on abstract faith but short on actual experience with suffering, had planted a seed of false hope and possibly self-incrimination in the heart of a very sick man.

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