Playing Jesus: Thoughts on Helping People Heal

The day after I played a ghost in the HIllsborough Spirits Tour, I played Jesus in a skit during the worship service at church. I became Jesus by default since the men of the congregation were either going out of town or not interested in taking on the role.

My minister friend Bernie was thrilled to hear I was playing Jesus. Bernie thought a female Jesus would make a great theological feminist statement. But actually, I just took on the role to help out Carolyn, my friend who wrote and directed the skit. Carolyn really needed a Jesus!

I took the role seriously though and played Jesus with dignity. I didn’t ham it up or try to overly interpret how he might have felt. In the skit, I healed blind Bartimaeus.

My friend Rich did a remarkable job as Bartimaeus. We saw his despair as the blind beggar and then his elation when he was healed. The congregation reported that the skit was quite moving. And it certainly was a moment for me in my short acting career.

Healing Bartimaeus got me thinking about healing in real life. I have no medical training. How can I be a healer?

I’ve been sick. Cancer. What helped me heal? Skilled doctors, of course, did the bulk of the work. Cliff comes next. But how did others help me heal?

Kindness. Yep. Simple gestures. Cards. Calls. Emails. Flowers. Meals. Homemade cookies.  Gifts. I learned from the trenches how much those gestures improve your spirits as your body heals.

I’m on a kick of sending  Wolferman’s English muffins to friends who are ill or injured.  I never know if they actually like English muffins, but the muffins are delicious, come happily packaged, and include a festive jar of jam.

I sent off a shipment to a friend a few weeks ago who was recovering from cancer surgery. He soon wrote:

Thank you for the breakfast basket and especially for the card and positive thoughts and prayers. As you have experienced, its inspiring, recovery-wise, to be reminded of the good people in the “outside world” that one is trying to rejoin.

You don’t need to walk on water to be a healer. English muffins, or whatever your giving style may be, will help keep someone afloat. Thank heaven for simple gestures that can pack an almighty punch.