Michael Guglielmucci, a widely known youth pastor and worship leader in Australia, received the news no one ever wants to hear: “It’s cancer.”

He was devastated, confused and afraid. In his anguish he cried out to God through song and seated at his piano he worshiped with everything he had. The result was a powerful tune about Christ’s love, redemption and healing called “Healer.”

“I just went home. I knew I had to go home and needed to get alone with God. I walked into my studio at home and for some reason. . . I sat at a piano and began to worship. I sang that song from start to finish. I was crying. I just realized that God had given me an incredible gift and I realize that song was going to be my strength.”

For two years Guglielmucci suffered with cancer, which had now become terminal. His hard-fought battle culminated in a performance of “Healer” that was recorded for HIllsong’s 2008 DVD This is Our God. It was during this performance of “Healer” that Gugliemucci, uncertain of how much longer he would live and receiving air through oxygen tubes in his nose, read passionately from Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Isaiah 53 and performed “Healer” to a crowd of thousands of weeping worshipers.

I want you guys to do something for me. I want you to watch this video and really take in this song. Let it speak to you, let your heart interact with it. Then go to the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Healer

  1. Here’s why I decided to post this.

    I thought it would be interesting to explore the idea of false worship. I mean, here are thousands of people having their “realest” experience with worship, being touched, being moved. But no one else but God and this pastor knew it was all a fraud.

    Oh how often we fall for the pageantry of worship, more than the beauty of the one we are worshiping.

    Oh how great God is to work and move through even dishonest expressions of worship to reach the hearts of those who are truly seeking him.

    Just imagine the mixture of emotions God must have been feeling during this performance. Exhaltation and magnified glory in receiving the praise of those whose hearts were right. Anger and frustration with those whose hearts couldn’t be farther from his own.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this really. I’m just fascinated by the complexity of it all. How God can love and work through this. How so much of what we call “Christianity” is like this. How in the midst of all that is like this, there is still that small voice that softens hearts and works in mysterious ways.

    My gut reaction was to pile on this guy. But instead God brought me to a place of reflection about his greatness. His complexity. His grace and mercy.

    And how we’re all really just a bunch of idiots. And how Jesus suffered and died for us idiots.


  2. 1) when i saw the title “healer” i thought “if this is about obama i’m gonna punch you in the eye”
    2) it reminds me of that verse in Philippians 1 where Paul says people are preaching out of false motives… 18 “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

  3. I think it’s hilarious your first instinct was Obama. I have never glossed him as anything other than my candidate of choice. Heck, I’ve even left the whole “Change” thing well enough alone. 😆

    I’m curious to see if there will be any lasting damage done to Hillsong’s ministry. The government is already looking into what they should do about funds he himself raised for the church.

    That verse Jim quoted has always been problematic for me because I always kind of felt it implied apathy toward sham ministries. Like when I watch that troll on television who is always conducting his “faith healing” crusades across Africa.(Pass the plate ye poorest of the poor!)

    But then I see Jesus turning over tables in the temple and consistently lambasting the religious leaders for being frauds.

  4. i think the thought, for me atleast, is that there will always be poor motives. even you and i have them and we’re trying our best.
    and hopefully, poor motives and all, some will truly start to follow Jesus. even when we have the best motives, people don’t follow or follow and fall away. so, only Jesus can tell motives and who is truly a follower. and as always, we can only be the means, he is the end.
    all that to say this guy should be ashamed, he should be “disciplined” by the church, and he should be forgiven. the people he influenced should be apologized to and shepherded on.

  5. Saul, the king who consulted witches and blatently disobeyed the Lord’s commands (and kept trying to murder a shepard boy) prophesied for an entire day when the Spirit came on him. (i’ll get you the reference)

    the aforementioned shepard boy becomes Israel’s greatest king…all while commiting adultry, murder and lying about it. in addition, he allowed his son to rape his daughter without any punishment. I think he wrote about 75 Psalms that every church generation uses for worship inspiration.

    moses kept breaking things (the original 10 and the rock he struck with his staff rather than speak to)

    samson clearly had a lust thing going on, but God kept using him.

    paul REALLY didn’t like mark. somehow this ugly split caused the gospel to go to two different places and spread like wildfire. (they reconciled later)

    the bible is full of guys just like this pastor; self-seeking, messed up, confused people who are nevertheless competent enough and sensitive enough to God to lead. sometimes the messed up part of them wins the day and, to quote DC talk, they stumble and make fools of us all.

    so, i’m adding my agreement to shane that God is constantly using screwed up people…dishonest people…weird people…to advance His kingdom.
    it doesn’t make sense.

    but i feel better knowing that God can and does work all things together for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

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