Reflection Questions

Experiencing God's Love through Health Changes



How do you understand the myriad of changes our bodies go through?  

Do you experience them as meaningful?  random?  confusing?  mysterious?

How do you understand God's presence during illness, disability, the changes in capacities and gifts that come with aging, healing from illness, and our passage from this life?


Do you feel that God speaks to you through changes in your body? 

Do you experience God as guiding you towards specific lifestyle or medical choices? 

Have you ever felt (as some early Friends did) that God was giving you a leading through being ill?


Do you feel companioned or alone in living with such changes?

Do you feel deeply known and loved by God? 

Have you experienced love as being powerfully healing?

Psalm 139, 33:22, 1 John 4:7, 1 Corinthians 13.  Song of Songs is often interpreted as a metaphor for God's love for us.  Hosea is a great parable of God's steadfast love for us. 


Do you feel you can lean into God? 
Do you feel you can lean into the love you feel from others?

Do you feel that God is fundamentally trustworthy? 

Does the possibility of someday facing severe pain, life-threatening illness, or losing physical abilities frighten or worry you? 

Do you feel protected by God?

Exodus 19:4, Psalms 13, 22, 30, 62, 63, 102, 121, 131, Isaiah 40


Do feel that God plans or causes changes that happen in your body? 

Does your belief / experience about this deepen or serve as barrier to your sense of faith and trust in God?

Do you feel God can be both omnipotent and all-loving?  If not, which way do you experience God more simply / unqualifiedly?

Job, Psalm 38


Where do you experience healing coming from?

From self-healing resources within your own and others bodies?  From others' love? 
From God?  From the Universe?

Do you experience bodies as having great, largely untapped self-healing or restorative capacities?  
If so, what unlocks these?

Do you feel you have a gift for healing others or being a channel for healing energy? 

There are many healings by Jesus recorded in Luke.  These highlight key dimensions of healing, ie.
The role of spiritual authority  Luke 4: 31, 9:37, 13:10.   The relationship with forgiveness  5:17.    
The role of touch & energy  5: 12, 6: 17 & espec. 8:43   vs.   Distance healing  7:1.
"The Light of the body" 11.33.  "Your faith has healed you"  17:11, 18:35.

See also Psalm 30:2, John 14:12 (on doing even greater works than Jesus), Acts 3:1, 9:33.


What do you hope for, yearn for or expect to happen when you pray for others?

How do you pray for others?  What do you ask for? 

Do you experience your prayers as being answered?

What does it mean to pray for healing - in our own lives and bodies or for others? 

What do you experience as happening when Meetings hold others in the light or hold healing sessions?

Is intercessory prayer the same thing as "holding someone in the Light"?

Many psalms are personal prayers for help - e.g. 6, 22, 41:1-3

Matthew 7:7, 17:29 & 21:21 (faith moving mtns), cf. John 14:12


Do you feel protected by God in death? 

What do you think happens to us when we die? 

Do you feel God sets our lifespan for us?

Do you anticipate (with Richard Hubblethorne) that you will be "wound into largeness" when you die?

Do you know others who have experienced the kind of at-easeness that characterized many early Friends in the hour of death? 

Do you feel this way about death? If not, what difference would it make in your life if you did felt this way?

Raising the dead: Luke 7:11, 8:40-56,  John 11:1,  Acts 9:36

Jesus' dying sayings: Matthew 27:46 (cf. Psalm 22),  Luke 22:44; 23:46,  John 19:30

Paul on immortality: 1 Corinthians 15 (cf. Luke 20:34)

(c) Peter Blood-Patterson, prepared for the Quakers in Pastoral Care and Counseling gathered held at Richmond Indiana in March 2006

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Quote that speaks to me

Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies

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They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  
Death cannot kill what never dies.  
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.  
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.  
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
 - William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude, 1702.

Note: This passage was quoted by J.K.Rowling as the epigraph of her novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Braithwaite on Outreach

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Men & Women with a Message of Power

It is as a "religion of life" that Quakerism will be presented in the future and is being presented now.

Its distinguishing note will be its resolve to bring all this human life of ours under the transforming power of spiritual life.  It will stand out against all divisions and compartments that separate the sacred from the secular, the sanctuary from the outward world of nature, the sacrament from the days' common work, the clergy from the laity. 

It will tell of a Christian experience that makes all life sacred and all days holy, all nature a sanctuary, all work a sacrament, and gives to every man and woman in the body fit place and service.  Its concern will be to multiply men and women who will have a message of power because they are themselves the children of light.  It will claim the whole of man's life, and the whole of life, individual, social, national international, for the dominion of the will of God.

William C. Braithwaite and Henry T. Hodgkin, The Message and Mission of Quakerism (Philadelphia, Winston, 1912), 25-26.

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