A few years ago Sue badly injured her hand. Sue was a school teacher and she suffered the accident while on a school camp. In attempting to cut a rope the knife that Sue was using slipped and sliced through her left hand. Muscle, nerves, tendons – everything that makes a hand work – all severed.
The hospital immobilized the hand and sent her home. She was to return a week later to have a more permanent cast placed on the hand. “This is to prevent you from moving the fingers,” she was told. “If you do it will break any healing that might possibly occur. The first sign of any healing will be severe pain. Your hand may not heal at all. If it heals you will have marginal movement in the fingers – but only after extensive occupational therapy, since we intend to keep your hand’s mobility restricted for up to a year. But you will never be able to form a fist and reopen your fingers ever again.”
Naturally, Sue was devastated and came to church asking for prayer. She did not want the prognosis that had been mapped out for her. She wanted to be healed.
Over the next week we did everything we could think of to get that hand healed. We used every modality that we knew at that point.
We reached for approaches towards healing that Jesus Christ modeled and that we had read in the Bible. These modalities included:
- Prayer – asking God directly for healing
- Anointing with Oil
- Fasting with an intention of healing towards the injured person
- Verbally directing the condition or injury (as if it can hear and comply)
- Directing the Spirit of God towards the injured part (both verbally and by placing hands on or over the effected part)
We gathered around Sue every day for the next week and did everything we could think of!
At the end of the week Sue returned to the surgeons. When they un-bandaged her hand the doctors could not believe what they saw. This was because there and then, and without any pain, Sue closed her left hand into a fist, opened it again and wiggled her fingers!
“That,” said her doctor, “is what we in medicine call ‘a miracle!'”
“That,” said her doctor, “is what we in medicine call ‘a miracle!'” I would call it a miracle too! Yet when Sue showed her healed hand to her mother, her mother said, “Silly doctors, telling you you wouldn’t be able to open your hand like that. They obviously made a mistake when they diagnosed you. Obviously it wasn’t as bad as they thought!”
Sue’s mother’s response was sad and funny at the same time. We felt sad that Sue’s mum couldn’t share the joy and wonder of the healing that had happened. But it demonstrated to us that healing doesn’t happen to prove anything to anyone. Healing is given for its own sake, and for the individual who receives it. And we thanked God, receiving the miracle of healing with thanks as an expression of divine love and power. Which is how I see all healing!