You will, after service, be asked if you would like to receive prayer, and having been pushed to a rather desperate place in your life, you jump eagerly at the chance.
You don’t know her particularly well – she’s a friend of a friend – but she speaks well of Jesus and the things she’s seen. She’s offering out of care and concern. You figure this is your chance.
You also have a nagging sense of unease about this, because there are familiar voices of “this isn’t going to happen again” and you’re naturally a rationalist. But you are also a person of faith, and this is a tension you’ve lived in for most of your life.
How does it feel?
It’s okay. Nothing really is different. Am I imagining things?
Hm. Maybe a tingling. You could have made that up. But there’s some sort of strange turning sensation, like your knees are out of alignment and now they’re coming back. You wiggle your toes and shift your weight off your knees. To your surprise, you realize you’ve been leaning on them.
It’s plausible. You wonder if maybe…
How about now?
You stand up and adjust your weight a bit. Something’s different about it but you’re hesitant to call it anything. You also don’t want to let this girl down. You wonder what she’s thinking, but her eyes give a sense of intensity and anticipation. You realize – nothing could happen and she wouldn’t feel let down. So you’re better off just telling her the truth.
It might be 25% better, 30% better, you say. Well, let’s keep praying, she says.
Three times. Words of command, expectation, but also of openness and vulnerability.
How about now?
To be honest, it’s not quite there. It’s still kind of the same. But you see people you know gathered around you in prayer and in faith. You are touched.
You are blessed – there is no way around it. You are blessed with people that know you and hope expectantly for you and believe. You are surrounded with people who will understand you and accept you if nothing happens – and if you are nothing – but they believe something could happen. You thank them and let them know you’re not sure, but it could be something. You feel a little self-conscious and want the spotlight off of you and your foot.
The next day it so happens you are scheduled to visit the foot specialist. The doctor, a tall, muscular man with thin cheekbones, reviews your x-ray, strides into your room. He looks you up and down and fires you a grim glance.
“You sure you’ve only been in that thing for 3 weeks?” He’s referring to the walking cast.
“Well keep doing what you’re doing. Most people, at 3 weeks, are way behind you in terms of healing. You’re ahead.”
You smile broadly. You know why, but you don’t say anything. Thankyouthankyouthankyou you pray under your breath.
At that moment, another voice jumps in your head and tells you: you’re young, you heal well and quickly, and your foot still has some funny painful sensations. It’s not all the way yet. It could have all been in your head.
You know you aren’t healed completely, but at that moment, you choose to believe. The tension does not resolve itself. But you are a person of faith, and this is, you realize, what it means to choose it.