A friend of mine is a Nurse Practitioner in a School Based Health Center. Her passion for healing and for education are intertwined in the work of her life. Every day, she sees teenagers who are living in poverty, homeless, hungry, and afraid. She works with children who have been abused and have witnessed abuse. Her daily goal is to help and empower each individual to be as healthy as possible so that they can concentrate on getting an education. Health and education are at the heart of her work.
Recently, she received this poem from one of her colleagues. The author, Dr. Marie Constant, talks about witnessing each other as an act of healing.
life’s merit is to be chosen as a witness
to be called as a companion
to be given a front row seat
the witness creates an audience where there is none
engages the bodies who are ready to listen,
and makes up a narrative of lost wars and triumphant quests
I am dead without a witness.
I am….a witness.
Jesus educates his newly called disciples by healing people. He heals people who are filled with uncomfortable emotions, fevers, and serious health problems; he heals paralysis and blindness. He sees every single person he heals – he sees their souls, their hearts, and their bodies. And as a witness to the whole person, he welcomes them into his beloved community.When Simon tells Jesus that his mother-in-law is sick with a fever, he doesn’t hesitate to be a witness. He walks into the place where she rests, sees her suffering, reaches out with a healing touch, and raises her spirit, her body and her soul.In turn, she becomes a witness herself. Rising up from her bed, she welcomes people to her home, feeds them, and offers a circle of healing and wholeness for the whole town of strangers and friends.
As we find ways to follow Jesus together, may we be witnesses who educate our children and our world by healing with kindness, service, and love.