sick of talking about myself, but for those of you interested in my health I was allowed up today. Yippee! The bottom is almost clear (to hairy for me to say it is as smooth as a baby’s bottom, but you get what I mean – and are now grossed out).
I’m writing this post in response to a comment made by Lee – anne Bryant in her discussion of my earlier post on prayer. Lee – anne suffers from scoliosis and so has been in a wheelchair for much of her life (actually, I should get Lee -anne to tell her own story because I’m probably getting it wrong). In any event she often feels singled out when she attends Pentecostal and charismatic church conferences, especially when the altar call relates to healing. She recounts one experience as follows:
- I visited a smallish church once and the pastor asked if he could pray for me. I said sure, why not? Ensue fifteen+ people surrounding me, casting things out of me, telling me to repent and be healed. Two of the ladies and one of the guys literally picked me up by the arms and made me stand, I had bruised biceps for three weeks and strained back muscles from being stretched standing straight with scoliosis. It went on for around fifteen minutes, and every time I yelled at them to let go of me they yelled back at my ‘demon’ to shut up. After this adventure they gave me a copy of Jonie Erickson-Tada’s book – Totally contradicting themselves. So I never visited again. I’m really nervous around conferences, prophetic stuff etc now because I really don’t want that to be repeated. I hate being made a fuss of at the best of times, and crazies just seem to enter their element when they see me coming.
I am somewhat sheltered in hospital and, with an injury only six months old, I have not had experiences this disturbing. I do have one of my night-time attendants tell me regularly that if I have enough faith I will be healed. He is a Pentecostal who encourages me to read books by Kenneth Hagin. anyone who knows me will appreciate that my theology is a long way from that of Hagin and the faith healers of his ilk, but it is not my purpose to debate the point now. I actually love this night-time attendant, with his straight forward faith and encouraging personality, and just nod my head and say ‘yes, yes’ to his encouragement. He and his wife pray for me regularly and I welcome such prayers.
I actually enjoy all the different sorts of prayers that have been spoken over my life. I appreciate people with faith that is stronger than mine (perhaps stronger is not the right word. I probably mean different to mine, more outspoken). I have been prayed for by people believing in my total healing, by others who pray God’s will be done, by others whose faith stretches to littler things (such as pressure marks rather than total healing) still others pray that I will be able to cope with whatever God’s will for me is. I’ve been prayed for by tongue-speaking pentecostals, and by more formal Anglicans and Catholics. I’ve even been prayed for by an Imam. And I love it all!
As for me, I have to admit that it seems likely that I will remain in a wheelchair. This may seem to be a position of lesser faith, and it may well be. But I can only deal with life as it is and trust that God is with me. I am sure that a miracle is possible (so if you’re so inclined, please keep praying for one). Right now, however, my wife and I just need God in the little things of everyday life. As the tag line of my blog says, ‘we are just taking life as it comes, the same as everyone else’.