The journey I never expected.
The other day I met a man called Harold.
We had a conversation about his experience in hospital when a chaplain came to visit. I’ll let him tell his own story.
I was in hospital almost twenty years ago. This young man came up to my bed and introduced himself. He said he was helping out the chaplain for a few days. He asked if it was OK to have a chat.
Frankly, I was surprised. There I was in a public hospital for a knee operation. The last thing I expected was to have a visit from a minister. He caught me off guard, so I said “yes” to the chat. What was I thinking?!
He was a pleasant enough bloke. I can’t remember what we talked about. But then he asked about my knee. How was it going? Was it healing well? Did the doctors expect me to have a full recovery? Would I like him to pray for healing?!
Well, that really bowled me over. I didn’t know what else to say but “yes”. I don’t remember the last time I prayed before that. Then he said to me, “Is it OK if I lay my hands gently on your knee?” My head was now spinning. Suddenly I’ve gone from a quiet afternoon rest in a hospital bed after knee surgery to this really way out experience of a complete stranger praying for me. It was really disturbing. But in a funny sort of pleasant way.
I felt like I wasn’t in hospital anymore. This guy prayed his prayer and left. There I was on my own wondering what all this was about. It was like I was in a different place altogether.
Anyway, I got out of hospital and went home. But this experience never left me. Of all the things that had happened to me in hospital someone praying for me really stayed with me. The doctors led me to expect that I’d take a full six months to feel like I was walking properly again. After one month I didn’t have any pain and I could walk normally. I really didn’t want to admit it but the thought just wouldn’t leave me. This guy’s prayer for healing actually worked!
I found a Bible and started reading. I couldn’t believe all the healings Jesus did. And then I read the apostle John said that Jesus did so many more miracles that if they were all written down, the world couldn’t hold all the books. I thought he might be exaggerating just a little bit, but I took his point. John said he had written about these few miracles so that people like me (people who had never seen Jesus) might believe and that by believing might have eternal life.
This was a journey I certainly had never expected. I turned to Jesus for eternal life. And ever since I have thanked him for that anonymous man who prayer for my healing. I’ve been healed by Jesus in body and soul.