Sculpture Series Illustrates Christ’s Healing Ministry

AdventHealth initiative helps passers-by reflect on Jesus’ whole-person healing.

Southern Tidings
Sculpture Series Illustrates Christ’s Healing Ministry

As they drive up to work or walk to and from meetings, the employees of AdventHealth’s corporate campus in Altamonte Springs, Florida, United States, may be seen pausing in their tracks and reflecting before returning to the rush of the day.

Their rest stops often include the ponds, flowers, and water features of the 30-acre campus, and at other times the biblically inspired, two-part bronze sculpture series located on the property.

Sculptor Victor Issa (left) talks with Ted Hamilton, AdventHealth's chief mission integration officer, about The Master Healer statue on the campus of AdventHealth’s corporate office in Altamonte Springs, Florida, United States. [Photo: Southern Tidings]

The sculpture series, by artist Victor Issa, includes the installations Healing at Bethesda, located on the campus’s roundabout. with a final scene in its headquarters building; and The Master Healer, which sits on a walkway by the campus lake. Each one exemplifies Christ’s healing ministry on earth — very similar to what AdventHealth’s mission aims to do.

“We are so blessed to come to work every day and have an artistic expression of our faith, our ministry, right here on campus, and to have something that symbolizes what our organization stands for — whole-person healing,” said Sandra Johnson, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for AdventHealth.

AdventHealth, a national system of care sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is made up of nearly 50 hospital campuses and hundreds of care sites. The system shares a single mission, “Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ,” and a focus to provide whole-person care — body, mind, and spirit. It is a sacred calling directly modeled after Jesus’ own wholistic healing ministry, which inspires team members to form healing relationships with the people they care for, including those team members who serve at the corporate campus rather than at the bedside.

“I consider it a great privilege to work with Christ-centered institutions like AdventHealth to bring a distinct and meaningful three-dimensional representation of their mission and vision into existence,” Issa said. “On a personal level, working on major liturgical compositions offers me the opportunity to dig deeper into Christ’s ministry.”

The first AdventHealth statuary to be seen on entering the campus, Healing at Bethesda, represents the different manifestations of illness: The Anguished Woman — the mental; The Self-Righteous Man — the spiritual; and The Mother and Her Child — the physical. Another statue in the group is known as The Sick Man, the man who embodies all characteristics of illness. He is the one who was asked by Jesus, according to John 5:6, “Do you want to be made well?” (NKJV). The final scene of the installation, located inside the headquarters lobby, expresses restoration and new life after healing by the Savior.

The second statuary, The Master Healer, was dedicated during a special ceremony with the AdventHealth Board of Directors in February 2019. Like Healing at Bethesda, The Master Healer depicts Christ’s desire to make others whole, except this installation does so by drawing from several healing stories of the Bible. The characters include a centurion, an outcast leper, a young child, the tax gatherer Nicodemus, and a young mother and child accompanied by their lamb.

“That entire sculpture series serves as a physical reminder of Christ’s healing ministry,” said Ted Hamilton, senior vice president and chief mission integration officer for AdventHealth. “It demonstrates to our team members that the work they do has meaning; and to our visitors, community leaders, and partners, that they are in a place that has a unique brand promise of whole-person health.”

According to organization leaders, the AdventHealth brand promise is for every patient who walks through its facility doors. And, it’s one that points back to a Savior who offers radical healing and restoration to all those who dare to believe, according to Luke 6:19 (KJV): “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all.”

The original version of this story was posted by Southern Tidings.

Southern Tidings