Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Two Stories of Healing

In the Bible, Jesus and his followers encountered the funeral procession of a widow’s only son. Jesus had compassion for her and told her son to rise. The dead boy came back to life and was returned to his mother. 

The story is told in Buddhism of a mother who brought the body of her dead son to Buddha and begged him to bring the boy back to life. Buddha told her that if she could bring him a mustard seed from a house that had not been touched by death, he would grant her wish. So off she ran, going from house to house, but nowhere could she find a family that had not suffered death. She returned to Buddha, understanding that death comes to us all. She was released from her emotional struggle and went to bury her son. Buddha, in a different way, also had compassion for a grieving mother.

Two stories of healing. In one the boy was healed; in the other the mother was healed. These stories fascinate me, especially because as the mother of an autistic son, I spent much of his childhood praying for him to be healed. 

Interesting that a mustard seed appears in the Bible and in Buddhism. In the Bible, Jesus says that if we have faith even as much as a tiny mustard seed, we could command mountains to move and they would. So imagine how I felt – apparently I could not summon even a mustard seed’s worth of faith to heal my son. What a failure I was. 

Later I came to realize that my son did not need healing. He thinks he is terrific. I needed healing from my own grief and anger and despair. I came to understand that I am not alone in suffering as a mother. I turned to Mary, who might have been mother to the son of God, but still had her maternal tribulations.

I began to look more deeply at the Bible story of the mustard seed of faith. If faith is wanting things to be other than what they are, that is, imposing my own will on the universe, is that faith or denial or just wishful thinking? If faith is trusting in the innate order and basic goodness of the universe, then perhaps even a tiny mustard seed of faith will align me with God’s will. When my will yields to God’s will, then indeed all things are possible. 

For me, moving the mountain meant releasing my own resistance, making my peace with James’s autism, accepting him just the way he is. Terrific.

18 thoughts on “Two Stories of Healing”

  1. This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing all three stories, and for the expansive view of healing! Our monthly healing service is this Saturday. I try always to keep the briad perspective on healing and wholeness.

  2. "If faith is trusting in the innate order and basic goodness of the universe, then perhaps even a tiny mustard seed of faith will align me with God’s will. When my will yields to God’s will, then indeed all things are possible."
    Galen, this post so moved my heart and soul. We think we have faith until our own mustard seed is tested. Healing is in God's time and in our own understanding, as your son declared to be "terrific!" Wow! All things are possible with God. We simply have to have the correct perspective.
    Blessings to you!

  3. Galen, thank you for sharing this post with us. I'm getting on in years, but I always seem to learn something new from you, and I appreciate that! This post will definitely be saved so I can "think on it" some more!

  4. Thanks, Pam. I appreciate your kind words. We can always learn something, yes? Sometimes, I think for me it's often a question of un-learning.

  5. Thanks dear friend for this one. i loved the two stories of healing I can relate to your feelings from my own life experiences with having grandchildren with difficult problems and watching as we went through these experience with faith in God's plan for them.
    This is one scripture that has gotten me through many hard moments. Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not onto thine own understanding In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path." It isn't easy to yield our will to God's will but when we do we can find healing and peace.
    Loving thoughts and hugs for you!

  6. Wow, the timing of this is a miracle, really – thank you! This past Saturday, due to complications from an OD, my daughter had a seizure. From that, she now has amnesia. Her memory stops the moments before her seizure and lasts through to now; she can only hold memories for one hour at a time. Which means she currently needs 24/7 care. She's turning 18 next week and was going to move out. Now everything has changed, for her, and for me (since I'm a single mom and her 'caregiver').

    Of course, it's taking a bit to process and in that I have wondered why my prayers weren't answered. Or aren't being answered. Also, I realize even in this short time, that the flow of our day feels better when I work on my own heart, and am compassionate with my self, as I am with her.

    I haven't been online much. I just popped on to look for inspiration, and I found this in my email. I love your writing, so I opened it, and this particular post spoke straight to my heart.

    This is what I'm working on, specifically in this situation *When my will yields to God’s will, then indeed all things are possible*. Thank you for the nudge and reminder. Blessings to you!!

  7. Joy, my heart goes out to you. I have kept up with your story through your own posts, so I understand a little of the background that has brought you to this point. I'm so sorry that you are facing another level of challenge on this path. You have such a beautiful spirit — I remember the guided meditations that you offered. You embody and manifest so much goodness in this world. I'm glad that this post came at a time when it could give you a little support and comfort. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. That is a comforting verse, LeAnn. I appreciate your sharing some of your own story. Like the mother who searched for a home untouched by death, we realize as we open ourselves up to each other, that we all bear sorrows of one kind or another. Choosing to trust can give us strength and courage to go forward in faith.

  9. When your blog surfaces in my email, I leave it until I have a moment or two to read it, since I know it will need some time for reflection. This one is no different. I also read the previous comments and your responses to them and realize once again that we are all on this beautiful blue globe doing the best we can with what our finite minds can understand about our world, and our lives. Thank you for this, Galen.

  10. Beautifully said, DJan. Someone told me once, when I was frustrated with my son's behavior, that he was doing the best he could. I realized that we all are. And thanks for your kind words.

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