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healing and relationship  E-mail
Claudia Kotzen | 28 August 2013
And by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5)

This is a short and sweet blog on healing and relationship. Because by His stripes we are
healed. The veil was torn. And relationship opened up. I don't have answers or 'keys' when
it comes to healing, but what I do know is that God is all about relationship. And He is so
much bigger. I read Misty Edward's Facebook status the other day and took a deep breath,
just soaking in her vulnerability:

Misty Edwards wrote:

"How do you rush Someone from eternity? He is God and He holds the key. That's just the
deal; He's keeping me here in the place of asking. Sometimes He is more interested in the
conversation than giving the answer. He knows me best and He knows how to get the
conversation going even if I feel cornered at times. At least now, we're talking and
somehow He loves my voice. The answer will come, in time and He will make all things
beautiful, but for now, I'm here in the waiting room of unanswered prayer".

So at least now we're talking. But what does this have to do with healing? Well, I'm sitting
in the room of unanswered prayer here, but, I know that it will be beautiful. And at least
now we're talking. Really seriously. We're having those real conversations and I'm asking
Him those tough questions. And I've realised our relationship has gone so much deeper
than the surface 'good-Christian'-scripture-recited interaction. As real as I am, as real as
He is. And then I stumbled upon 'But he was wounded for our transgressions, and he was
crushed for our iniquities, and the punishment that made us whole was upon him, and by
his bruises we are healed' (Isaiah 53:4-5) once again. Amazingly, a friend shared a book
she's been reading. Part of what was discussed was the root word for 'healing' in this
particular scriptural context, and here 'healing' speaks of nirpa (־ רְפָּא ' נ nir·pa-) meaning
'restored, healed, remitted'. There are four occurrences of this word in the bible, three of
which relate to lepers and leprosy (Leviticus 13:37, 14:3, 14:48) and the forth to the
scripture most of us use when declaring healing (Isaiah 53:5).

Lepers were outcasts. Relationally cut off and marginalised. Set apart. And in their healing
(nirpa) they were cleaned, healed, removed of marks and blemishes, and even more so,
allowed back into relationship with their community, receiving relational healing. I believe
that their healing was far more than just physical. The disease, leprosy, caused them to be
physically cut off from community. So the disease was physical as much as it was social. It
was a disease in the body, but it affected the person as a whole, experiencing rejection
and isolation. The leper was orphaned. So in nirpa, the leper was healed; it was a healing
of hearts, of souls; it was complete healing. They were permitted back. As such, healing
here is very relational to me. And maybe it's more about the relationship than it is
about the physical healing? The disease caused community to be severed. So perhaps
this healing has its heart in relationship too. Here is where I am stopping to ask for more
revelation. And I can't help but be drawn into the bigger picture of eternal relationship with
my God. And there is something so close to healing and relationship in these scriptures.
Interchangeable? healed through relationship? or does healing promote relationship? I do
not, for one second believe that God brings disease to promote relationship, or for any
reason whatsoever. God is good. He is not the source of sickness. AT ALL. But I do believe
that He works ALL things together for good. All I know is that the more real I get with God,
the more I realise how I have defined and boxed Him into a neat little package. There is so
much more. By His scourging, we were brought back into relationship, accepted and
clean. I also find it interesting that the scripture most spoken for physical healing refers
back to a word that also involved relationship (in my opinion). Sometimes I feel like I'm
stuck in the place of asking and waiting for the physical healing, and it doesn't line up with
what I expect or how I think it should be or my neat concept of being healed. Maybe its
more about the relationship? The veil was torn after all and there's no distance, so why am
I still waiting? A hard conversation has started, and He enjoys listening to my voice and my
heart. Sometimes relationships deepen in the waiting. Sometimes it's the only place a
conversation gets started.