‘Please don’t tell anyone’ – the words remain with me, but I should think that as long as I don’t name names, it isn’t a problem, and it was quite some time ago now, an example of how even normal people can be hurt in the church by abuse of God’s Name.
My friend was a wonderful person, I loved to see her and I loved to have a cup of tea with her or go dog walking with her, she was never emotionally harmful to me, she was never harmful to me, full stop, she was a friend in the Church of England who I was safe with, and no unhealthy relationship problems occurred, because she was safe, the Diocese would undoubtedly have divided me and her if they had been able to find her when I returned to Hampshire from Jersey.
My friend was a very healing and soothing person, her very presence could calm me, she most certainly had the gift of healing, and she often soothed me when the Lihous were hurting me.
She told me one day about something that had really upset her, and it upset me too, but she said ‘Please don’t tell anyone’.
She was from a Charismatic Church and had not always been a Christian, but her husband was, and she started going to Church for his sake, she became a Christian, in the Charismatic Church, and although she switched to the Church of England, she was always lively in worship, dancing, singing out, hands in the air, that Church of England Church was charismatic-ey, so that was all fine there.
But when my friend asked to join the healing team, she was not in favour, always lively and cheerful, they seemed to dislike this, and told her that ‘They had prayed about it and she wasn’t to join the healing team’.
I was outraged to hear this, because I also have experienced this horrible and blasphemous ‘oh, I’ve prayed about it’ rejection and cop-out, and although I dread to think what will happen to these God-abusers for what they do, it doesn’t make it any less painful, and my friend was refused a place on the team, with prayer as a cop-out, because certain people were nervous of her enthusiasm, she did have a gift of healing and they should have utilized it.
I am thus privileged to have benefitted from her gift, but it is sad that because of rather bigoted men, others didn’t.
This may well sound like a rant, well it is a rant, it remains with me, how wounded she was and how her gift was not utilized, because of bigots and excuses that abused God, and sadly this kind of abuse goes on in churches all the time.
I have seen tons of misuse of Church and God and prayer in the Church of England, and it has left me marked forever.