THE OTHER SIDE OF HEALING
by Helene Torres
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As Ella got up to retell her story of healing, Beth got to her feet and quietly slipped out of the church. As she walked towards the park she allowed the tears to fall. She made her way towards the swings and sat, head in hand gently rocking backward and forward. “Hey.” She jumped at the sound of her friends, Faye’s voice. “I brought chocolate.” Her friend seemed almost defensive, almost afraid of Beth, as a packet of minstrels landed in her lap. “I decided, whatever the problem, chocolate never made things worse.” Beth smiled. “Thanks.” Faye sat on the swing next to her, “Do you want to talk?” Did she want to talk? To tell Faye what was going on? Her feelings weren’t exactly Christian and what could Faye do to help? At the end of the day, the girl was younger than she was, but she had cared enough to follow her. She owed her some sort of explanation.
“I should be happy for her.” Beth knew that she wasn’t being very clear, forcing Faye to read between the lines.
“Yes, she didn’t need it, didn't NEED that miracle. She could have lived a very decent life with that injury, which her own stupidity caused. This condition isn’t my fault, it’s in my genes and it effects me far more than hers ever did and yet…” She paused, running out of steam. She hadn’t meant to be that open. “It’s not fair and God should be fair!”
Faye didn’t speak for a few minutes and when she did her voice was far from steady. “It’s not fair. I completely agree with you and I think you’d be an angel if you weren’t feeling that spark of jealousy, but “fair” is a concept created by humans, it’s not of God. God did not promise that this world would be fair. In fact, He says the opposite, but He does promise to sort it out in the next life. “Blessed are those who mourn, for there’s will be…”
“But I’m never gonna get this life back and all the things I’ve missed out on, due to illness. I was too exhausted to go paint balling the other day. Although there are many wonderful things promised in Heaven, I’ve never heard the Bible mention paintballing.”
Faye was laughing. “I’ve got no more idea of what Heaven is gonna be like than you, but in all honesty when I picture Heaven paintballing isn’t on the agenda! It would rather mess up the clouds and our white wings! Seriously though, when you get to Heaven and are completely surrounded by the glory of God, I don’t think you’ll be thinking of the stuff you missed out on here. It’ll fade into insignificance, it’s like the things that you really cared about as a kid, my mum wouldn’t buy me a Barbie Lunchbox, does it matter to me now? No. My advice though; Keep asking. Keep persisting, be like the widow who wouldn’t give up.”
“I know. I’ve got to. God’s my only hope, but it’s so difficult. To ask, again and again.”
“Do you believe He can?”
“Yes! With my whole heart, yes. I just doubt that He wants to.”
Faye thought for a moment. “He got the best plan for you, Beth. Trust that and you can’t go far wrong. Now lets see if I can remember how to work a swing. I haven’t been on one for years.”
For the moment, the twenty something’s put their grownup demeanours and their worries to one side as they laughingly forced the swings higher and higher. They walked back into church, hair like rat’s tails and feeling slightly sick, but their eyes were alight with remembered childish freedom.
That night, in the privacy of her own room, Beth sat tears streaming uncontrollably down her face and repeated the prayer she prayed so often. “Heal me Lord. Please heal me. Heal me. Heal me.” She saw no point in using fancy words or long explanations as to why she wanted it. Complex phrases might impress people, but they weren’t likely to have any impact on the Lord, who’d given us the power to speak. As for explaining, God could look into her heart and see the desperation of her plea. He knew what she’d been through in life and didn’t need her report. Nothing happened and Beth wiped her tears away and went downstairs to take the dozen tablets she needed daily. “One day this routine, might end.” Beth thought as she downed the tablets, three at a time.
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Oh my! It's like you were reading my mind. Anyone who has to deal with chronic illness can appreciate the honest sentiments expressed in this article. Thanks for sharing such a touching story.