A deacon at Christ the King Anglican Church in Ocala, Florida, the Rev. Larry Barnhill sees his job as helping to keep the place clean. But he’s not concerned about physical dirt and grime. Instead, he teaches others how to clean out the spiritual garbage in their lives that’s keeping them from God. In 2011, he wrote a book called A Spiritual Spring Cleaning, giving individuals and small groups in The Mission and beyond a tool for thorough self-inventory and spiritual healing.
Larry realized at a young age that he was called to be Christ’s minister to bring holistic healing to a world in darkness. For the past eight years, he has written articles and held workshops for the Order of St. Luke the Physician, an ecumenical organization dedicated to the Christian healing ministry. He also teaches a weekly podcast on Spreaker and iHeartRadio on an aspect of healing, and writes a daily devotional on Facebook.
A Spiritual Spring Cleaning encapsulates his message. As he wrote, Larry used questions to help his audience identify things in their lives they are unwilling to reveal or give up, then surrender them. He asks, What is the main problem in my life separating me from God? What do I need to do about it? Why is it important to solve this problem? How do I turn this issue into a message of love and redemption? Helpful strategies include confessing to others, forgiving others, forgiving yourself or recognizing your own destructive tendencies.
Through studying and teaching about spiritual awareness and healing, Larry has found that physical problems often have a mental, emotional or spiritual root.
“A lot of times people just want to take care of the physical symptom, but they really need to address an underlying mental or emotional issue,” he says.
His sister, for example, was diagnosed last year with breast cancer and ovarian problems.
“She realized she had been running from God,” Larry explains. “She finally surrendered all of herself to God.” Now, though she still struggles with her health, Larry’s sister reaches out to others in the same situation and believes she is spiritually whole, no matter what happens to her physically. ` Larry believes the church needs his message because until they stop hiding things they don’t want others to see, they won’t be able to open their arms to receive God’s grace.
“When we have our hands up and praise God, we can reach out to embrace Him, but we can’t if our hands are closed,” he says. “I encourage people to work to see things within their lives and remove those blocks in order to be able to fully be like Christ. The emphasis of every Christian life is to become more like Christ.”