Wednesday, October 29, 2014

God is love: the sequel

A friend of mine worked as a Christian Science practitioner -- a person who helps others solve problems through prayer.  He was called one night by a neighbor whose wife was in the hospital. The neighbor asked if my friend could give his wife "last rights." My friend said he was not a priest. So the neighbor asked, "well, could you at least go and talk to her? She hasn't been to any church since she was a child. Growing up, she went to the Christian Science Sunday School. So my friend agreed to visit her at the ICU.

When he arrived, he peeked through the door and saw her on a bed. She had IV's dripping into her arms, and lights were blinking in machinery around her. She looked pale and gray, and was not expected to live. He walked up to her bed and introduced himself, thinking he'd say something wonderful that would lift her spirits and restore her faith. But no ideas came to him. He drew a total blank. After a few minutes of silence, he said, "If you could remember just one idea you learned in Sunday School, it would be enough to heal you." Then he walked out, feeling terrible that he'd been so abrupt. He was sure he'd failed to help her.

A week later, my friend's wife asked if he ever went to see their neighbor in the hospital. He said yes, but didn't explain how useless he'd been. "Well, I saw her shopping at the supermarket today, and she looks great!" said his wife.

My friend was astonished! He quickly called the neighbor's home and the wife answered. He asked her what happened. She said, "well, after you left, I really tried to remember any idea I learned in Sunday School. I haven't been to church for 50 years, but believe it or not, I could actually "see" the building in my memory. Then I recalled how the Sunday School looked. I could see the tables and chairs. It had been such a long time! As I looked up on the wall behind the superintendent's desk, I saw the words GOD IS LOVE. They were on a plaque hanging on the wall, but now they looked different to me. The letters were burning on the wall. I could read the words and see the flames coming from each letter. It was amazing! I just kept looking at those words, and then I noticed a feeling of warmth in my body. It began at my head and moved all the way to my toes.  The next time my nurse checked on me, she said I'd taken a turn for the better.  The doctor said if I kept improving, I could go home soon, and here I am, feeling perfect. So I guess you were right!"

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