Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eternal Brother In Arms

Tonight, a dear old friend, and truly blessed brother in the faith, surprised me by calling. We've not spoken for decades, since adolescence and young adulthood. Hearing his voice pierced the Time/Space boundaries of our temporal lives, and transported me back, in an instance, to another place, like a true time machine.

First, let me try to explain how this man is truly blessed. As a disciple, he's been given the most remarkable gifts of the Holy Spirit that I've ever witnessed.

 He is an accomplished and extremely respected virtuoso violinist, whose work is top tier, by any standard. He's been given the gifts of prophecy and healing. Most importantly, he's been given the ultimately rarefied precious gifts of kindness, compassion, and humility. Someone with all of his attributes would walk around like a king, but, he has no airs, and has been tempered with a thorn in the side, like the Apostle Paul, who likewise accepted this as the Lord's Will, to keep him from becoming egocentric or too grand.

I don't often endorse Christians who claim certain powers, such as healing and prophecy, for oftentimes, these are willful desires, not genuinely endowed by the Holy Spirit. The reason he has proven himself to me, outside of knowing what a dear soul he has, is that without knowing how sick I've been, he called, out of the blue, because the Holy Spirit told him to pray with me.

He didn't have a clue, nor did I tell him, how yesterday, my doctor told me, once again, that I cannot put off fixing my spine, which is a mess. The pain I've been in has been a test of my own faith. It would be easy to feel sorry for myself, but, I know that we all have our crosses to bear, and I accept that God has a reason for all things, even our suffering. Yet, I constantly fail to remember that God's mercy is greater than our meager faith.

Now I feel almost foolish to have neglected to pray for my own healing, almost too afraid that all I deserved was pain, for the price of my own precious faith.

Isn't that strange? I'm just saying.... I realize now that I feel guilty for being blessed, and have allowed limitations in my life, due to pain and suffering, believing I needed to go through it, like some medieval penitent, whipping themselves for the privilege of having the love of Christ in my heart. 

The scales fell from my eyes as I spoke to him, and I recognized how convolluted this was.

After he prayed for me, in the Spirit, fhe intense electrical current running hot through my spinal nerves to my toes and arms instantaneously stopped. It's been so long since I've had no pain that it felt like I was under the influence of morphine!

Not that morphine stop this kind of pain. Not that I take morphine, either, but, earlier in the year, when I had my last surgery, the agony was beyond  morphine and Demerol's reach.   All i could do was pray for the strength to endure.
All I could think of was that I must need this pain to be right with the LORD!

Many  will say my sudden relief, even before we prayed, was psychosomatic, even though my pain can be physiologically validated by horrendously scary MRIs. Even before he prayed for me, I felt better. The Lord seemed to transport me back in time to when I cavorted with this sweet young guy, days which the poets would describe as "salad days."

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