From the region of Gilead, Israel, near Jericho, came a rare perfume that contained balsam (a species of pine) that is noted in ancient texts as a cure for pleurisy, pneumonia, epilepsy, vertigo, asthma, and coughing. The balm of Gilead was traded throughout the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The prophet Jeremiah in troubling times questioned:
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?”
The African American spiritual responded in troubling times centuries later:
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole…There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul…”
The healing balm of Gilead is the love of Jesus. With the love of Jesus, we are healed by pursuing what endures, by pursuing the eternal, we are shaped and healed by what we pursue. As Jesus said:
Make for yourselves purses that do not wear our.”Luke 12: 33
So we are healed by investing in the eternal; we are made whole by pursuing eternal values. Using the Prayer of St. Francis as a guide, we believe that hatred, injury, discord, doubt, sadness, despair, and darkness are passing away. And the eternal value of love, pardon, union, faith, joy, hope, and light will endure for all time.
Invest in your lives wisely.