Book Review by Joe Kohm
This is Where Your Healing Begins, by Nigel W.D. Mumford
How timely that in the midst of a global pandemic, this book, This Is Where Your Healing Begins by my friend, Fr. Nigel Mumford, should be released. The fallout from this pandemic has progressed out like concentric circles, first from sickness, then from anxiety and depression, and now terrible economic consequences. I am afraid these effects will last for many years. What’s the antidote for all of it? Healing, the subject of this book. If we are honest, every single one of us needs healing from something, either “disease or dis-ease” as Fr. Nigel likes to say, and that’s why this book is so important right now and why you need to read it.
The subject of healing can be a prickly topic, particularly because we’ve been presented over the years with such poor examples of “faith healers” with bad hair shouting to us on television that for a certain donation to their ministry, God will heal us, as if God were some sort of slot machine. Let me assure you that this book is not about that. Fr. Nigel is not a “faith healer.” Instead, this book spends much of its time pointing us toward the only One who can heal us – God. That’s Fr. Nigel’s job, both in real life and throughout this book, to come along side each of us, and help us ask God for healing, a job he does very well.
Of course the sceptic will always ask, “What about all the people who asked to be healed and never receive it?” The Lord is mysterious in His ways and we do not know why He chooses to cure some people and not others. But therein lies an important distinction that we find in Luke 17. Jesus meets 10 lepers along the road and he cures them of leprosy. But how many of them were healed? Only the one who came back to Jesus “and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” This is exactly Fr. Nigel’s point on the matter, that “when we pray for healing, we can be assured that every person is healed, though not all are totally cured.”
This is not to say that there are not cures. I have regularly attended Fr. Nigel’s monthly healing service at Galilee Church in Virginia Beach, Va., for over five years and I can tell you I have seen people healed of cancer and other “diseases and dis-eases.” Through the love, prayers, and guidance of Fr. Nigel, the Lord miraculously healed me of a genetic heart condition – but that is a story for another day. But what many who seek healing don’t realize is that there are barriers that can prevent our healing, and this may be the most important message of the book. Feelings of unworthiness, the consequences of previous generational behavior, and most importantly, unforgiveness, are all roadblocks that must be cleared on our road to healing, and Fr. Nigel addresses each of these in great depth, giving practical and biblical advice to clear these roadblocks.
Who is this book for? Well, obviously it is for those who desire physical, mental, and emotional healing, but the audience for this wonderful book is much broader. This book is for those who know someone, either a family member or friend, who needs healing. This book is for those who want to start a healing ministry at their church. This book is for medical professionals, so that they might understand the role that faith plays in the lives of their patients. After all, many times healing occurs in conjunction with doctors, technology, and medicine. In this book, Fr. Nigel recommends praying over our medicine, much like we do when we say grace, asking God that it would “hit its target.” This book is for everyone. In fact, I can’t think of a person who doesn’t need to read this book.
In conclusion, I think it was N.T. Wright who once said, “In the real world, it is the wounded who heal.” This is particularly true of Fr. Nigel as he spent three weeks in a coma and three months in intensive care after contracting H1N1. He also struggles with Post Traumatic Stress as a result of his combat experience as a former Royal Marine. T.S. Eliot wrote in his poem “East Coker” (part of the Four Quartets), “The wounded surgeon plies the steel/That questions the distempered part; Beneath the bleeding hands we feel/The sharp compassion of the healer’s art…” Eliot, of course, was alluding to Jesus, who was wounded and bloodied for our sake on the cross. But in another sense it also reflects what I have seen in Fr. Nigel, he is also a “wounded surgeon” storming the gates of Heaven to remove the distempered parts with the “sharp compassion of the healer’s art.” This, of course, is biblical, as Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:4 that God, “…comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction…” If you seek healing, Fr. Nigel has been where you are. Please give yourself a gift, especially during these uncertain times when healing is so necessary, and read this book.