A healing presence

One of the kids in our Harry Potter club, a third grader, wanted to know:

“Mrs. Haley, if you could do any of the magic, what would it be?”

That’s an easy one.

“Healing,” I say.

The children think I mean “episkey,” the little mending of a broken nose or split lip (its name coming from Greek for ‘repair’).

But I mean the healing song.

The one without words, that puts the maimed, the mortally wounded, back together; the song that knits gaping wounds closed.

In the books, the strange song, invented by Professor Snape—perhaps the ultimate antihero—heals devastating physical wounds. They’re obvious; the injured people lie around bleeding profusely.

So many people walk around in the real world just as wounded, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.

Sometimes it is obvious.

Sometimes it is not.

I am not a magical character in a fantasy series nor a trained medical professional. I am no alchemist, apothecary, or angel. I cannot dispense healing.

But I write.

My words don’t grant healing, but maybe they can stir hope of it.

I can listen.

I don’t have a healing song, but I can have a hearing heart.

I can be still.

I can be a pocket of calm inside a world of clamor.

It’s not in my power to fix broken hearts, broken spirits, broken minds, broken families. If I could, I would have done so for many I’ve loved.

I can only be a presence, a voice, an encouragement to be strong in the broken places.

—Yes, healing.

—That is what I wish, children.

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21 thoughts on “A healing presence

  1. I loved the line that Terje picked out also, and I wondered if it was meant to be healing or hearing and either way, I love it. I feel there’s a whole post inside of the one curve difference of those two words because there’s so much healing that can be done through hearing.

    Your response to this child is a beautiful one, Fran. And that quote is so powerful because it is so, so true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful answer, Fran. Love this line: “I can be a pocket of calm inside a world of clamor.” Your slice reminds us that we can all do something toward what we wish for the world. Thank you for these words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lanny. I think that calmness is vital; there’s just so much clamor. I do wish healing to the world; just trying to make that pocket where I am. So appreciate your words!


  3. I love all of this! The healing answer, the hearing as healing, the writing stirring hope, and the quote- all inspired me to rethink when my own children ask me what superhero power I’d want. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful post and a great answer to the question. All of the lines recounted in the above responses moved me too. I’d like to add “an encouragement to be strong in the broken places” I wish for a healing heart too. Thank you for this post today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “I can only be a presence, a voice, an encouragement to be strong in the broken places.” Oh you are to so many children who have graced your doorway. Your reflections continue to floor me every time you write. You are quite graceful in the way you write. If I could compare you to an animal you have the grace of a swan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That has to be one of the most beautiful compliments I’ve ever received. As graceful as a swan-! Perhaps only in my writing, then, as I am not super coordinated!Bless you, Anna Maria. 🙂


  6. Of course, healing would be your superpower. It already is….I cannot dispense healing… but I write. You heal through your love of writing, the grace of your words, and the world you create for your students to heal. I always feel the calm that emanates from you. So this blog is perfect you!

    Liked by 1 person

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