By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
-an article for the December issue of the Order of St Luke the Physician Canada newsletter ‘The Canadian Healer’.
In December 1980, I lost my voice for eighteen months due to Spasmodic Dysphonia. My GP told me that I would never preach again. My father-in-law the Rev Dave Cline, at the time, was the OSL Warden for BC and Yukon. Desperation led me to join OSL where I devoured every book that I could find on healing. I particularly appreciated the insights I gained from filling out the OSL study guide on Jesus’ healing miracles. Later I even became an OSL Chaplain. On May 25th 1982, I had successful throat surgery and was able to speak again. During the surgery, I had a twenty-four hour prayer vigil. Healing prayer and healing medicine belong together. Every three months, I have Botox treatments that help maintain my voice.
Every time I preach is a miracle. My goal is to be like the tenth leper who came back and gave thanks. During the eighteen months of voice loss, I read sixty books on speaking and writing. God birthed a passion for writing and communication during my darkest time. I realized that even without a voice, I still had much to say. My ‘voice’, particularly about healing and wholeness, was meant to be heard. Since that time, I have written over four hundred newspaper articles and have recently published my sequel book ‘Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit’ on Titus. Many people don’t realize that the book of Titus is Paul’s health instruction manual to unhealthy pirates. The book of Titus gives us the keys to healthy churches, healthy families and healthy lives. Paul’s key emphasis to Titus again and again was holistic health/soundness: healthy faith, healthy doctrine, healthy love, and healthy endurance. Health for Paul was not just physical. Paul insisted on health in every area of Titus’s life as he impacted the Cretans. The very Greek word for both health and soundness is ‘hygiaino’ ὑγιαίνω from which we get the modern term ‘hygiene’. Many people do not realize that soundness and health are the same biblical concept. When a heart is healthy, the doctor says that it is sound. The book of Titus was not merely about healthy/sound doctrine. Health for Paul was holistic, embracing our whole life in body, mind and spirit.
Over the years, I learned that the healing ministry needs to be integrated into regular Sunday morning worship, not just put in a midweek corner for the few. I will never forget the night that Lee Grady, former Editor of Charisma Magazine, prophesied about St. Simon’s North Vancouver being a well-spring of healing with healing teams being raised up for body, soul and spirit restoration. Every worship service at St. Simon’s, whether traditional or contemporary, has a team ready to pray for healing. Keith Bird, OSL Canada editor, said that Restoring Health “presents to us ‘modern-day pirates’ a challenge for becoming whole in body, mind and spirit. I didn’t want to put it down.” Imagine how wellsprings of holistic healing, Titus communities throughout Canada, might revolutionize our toxic Canadian pirate culture.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector
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p.s. In Canada, Amazon.ca has Restoring Health in paperback http://tiny.cc/rupvnx and in e-book http://tiny.cc/zspvnx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.ccc/kreonx
Ed is the Rector of St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, B.C., having served there since 1987. Ordained in 1980, he also served at St. Philip’s Vancouver and St. Matthew’s Abbotsford. Ed and his wife Janice have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. He served as Chaplain and President for Alpha Canada. As the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, he was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials.
For the past 26 years, Ed has written over 400 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. His award-winning prequel is Battle for the Soul of Canada on 1st & 2nd Timothy. In the last number of years, he has had the opportunity to lead conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland, and Toronto.