Dec 30, 2011

Holiday Vignettes

On December 25th, I transported an 83 year old woman who complained of back pain for three weeks. She told me that years ago her heart had stopped for three minutes. She was clinically dead. I asked what she remembered of it. She told me she went to heaven and met a man standing in a brilliant white light. She didn't know for certain who he was, but he told her it wasn't her time yet - she had to go back.

I prayed with a man who had fallen down a flight of stairs, suffering multiple fractures of his thoracic spine. He faced possible surgery and a long rehab. He wasn't terribly optimistic that my prayers would help, but he was grateful that I asked.

On December 26th, I transported a young woman from Alberta, Canada. She was in Arizona vising her in-laws for the holidays when she developed abdominal pain. She suffers from Crohn's disease. She was admitted to the emergency room and diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction. We transported her to a larger hospital for possible surgery.

During the transport I told her about the dreams my wife has been having about starting up her own business. Then I shared some of my dreams. I chose the dream about praying for people with birth defects and told her my first patient the next shift was a girl with Down syndrome and I got to pray with her. Suddenly she began to cry.

When I asked why she was crying, she said she was touched that I would pray with stranger like that. She told me she is a Christian. I prayed with her to be healed during the transport. It was a long trip so I shared a few testimonies with her and taught her the basics of healing, which would come in handy since she works as a pediatric nurse.

Later that day I prayed with a woman who had a blood clot in her femoral artery. We transported her to a larger hospital for surgery. Her only daughter and three grandchildren were murdered a few weeks earlier. She was a wreck. I prayed with her for healing of her emotions and for the blood clot to dissolve. She was grateful that I asked.

On December 27th, I prayed with an 81 year old hospital volunteer that I met in the men's room. He's was raised a Jew but as an adult, he became an atheist. He gets around in an electric scooter due to years of severe back pain. He shared with me the only religious experience he ever had. A few years ago he visited the wailing wall in Jerusalem. His intent was to stand at the wall and say 'thanks' to the God he didn't believe in. It was his way of acknowledging God in the event that he was wrong.

As he stood there, for some reason he found himself leaning against the wall with his head. He didn't do this intentionally, some force pulled him against the wall. He was unable to move away from the wall for 30 minutes. While he was there his inner thoughts became loud, reverberating in his head. He came away from this experience thinking that perhaps there was a 'force' that was good. But he didn't say it was God and he couldn't believe that it opposed evil, because if it did, it was clearly losing the battle. I prayed with him for healing of his back pain and asked God's presence to touch him. He said he immediately felt a peace come over him.

On the 28th, I prayed with a nurse who had back pain. She was skeptical that anything would happen but she allowed me to pray with her anyways. I left her with a card to this website.

These are a few of the people I prayed with over the holiday. None of them felt tingling, heat, a reduction in pain or any immediate signs of healing when I prayed with them. I can't say that any of them were actually healed, but I believe they might have been.

I know from following up with people weeks later that some will notice they were healed 20 to 30 minutes after I prayed with them. Some notice it the next day. Healing doesn't always manifest immediately. When you pray with people, don't be discouraged if they feel nothing at the time. It doesn't mean they won't feel better in a little while.

Whenever possible, follow up with people a few days later and ask if they've noticed any changes. You'll probably find that some of them were in fact healed. If they weren't, consider praying with them again.

All of these people were grateful that I asked if I could pray with them - whether they were healed or not. Compassion and mercy can be demonstrated in the simple act of perceiving someone's need and asking if you might try to relieve their suffering. This is how we reveal the heart of Jesus to the world.

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