In Ingmar Bergman’s 1961 film, Through a Glass Darkly, Bergman tells the story of Karin, a schizophrenic. Just released from an asylum after shock treatments have restored her sanity, Karin slowly descends again into madness as her family watches. She sees God, in the form of a monstrous spider, attempt to enter her sexually. Her father, David, and brother, Minus, try to make sense of the fearful hallucination; and David talks to Minus of a God of Love:
David’s God of Love is also the God of Quakers. Most Friends believe that, when we love, our love is an expression of God at work within us. I personally believe that human love, folded into Divine Love, can—as Minus says—surround the beloved person whom we are “holding in the Light.”
Thus, when we suffer mentally or physically, God’s healing power is all around us. The healing may not be complete, of course. Karin, for example, was unlikely to be cured of her schizophrenia, but at least she could live more peacefully in her world of illusion. So, a physical illness may or may not be cured by God through the actions of the doctors who are God’s agents; but the Divine healing may at least bring peace and comfort to the sick person. Whatever the end result, the patient has on their side the God of here and now—the God of right here, right now.
~ Richard Russell
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