I went to a faith healing a month ago.
Yeah, I know, faith healing! Who believes in that charlatan practice, eh? Well, it was central to Christ’s ministry and to the early Christian church. But even back then, the elders warned of false prophets, the need to discern between those who genuinely give themselves to be a conduit for the Holy Spirit and those in it for personal glory and money. Today, we also have the skepticism of science and atheists who consider themselves the only rationalists in Western culture. Atheism is the smart way to think; faith healing is akin to, um, well silly, non-rational people, eliciting a polite rolling of the eyes, or with those Christians spewing invective and literal interpretations of spiritual teachings. But many of us, especially those of us from ancient cultures believe the material is only one dimension of a multidimensional universe, where the spiritual is a dimension equal if not more powerful than the material. Besides, my mother’s friend had received a lifting of her spirit when she had gone in search of healing for her cancer, a lifting that no human could give her. That alone was worth the free price of admission to me when my mother and her friend suggested it.
I’d never been to one before. My sole exposure was what I’d seen on TV. This was different, the people looked like the whole of Toronto: skinny, rich WASPs; Italians from Woodbridge; down and outs in their donated unwashed clothes; young women bringing their Muslim co-worker friends; strong mothers bringing their fragile adult children; people from every continent of every size and age, sang, clapped, and waited together for the service to begin. Basically, Toronto showed up.
The man we waited for began by saying the Holy Spirit decides how the service will go; so he cannot say how long it will be, what kinds of manifestations will happen. But no matter if you receive 100% manifestation or 50% or none, you will all leave with a healing of your spirit, he exclaimed.
That last sounded like a cop out – a way to keep you believing if you don’t regain your hearing, aren’t healed of your cancer, can’t walk again. But the man was firm: he who touches you is not the one who heals. That’s the Holy Spirit. And as I learnt later: the experience of your spirit being relieved of its burden in a way no physician, psychologist, brain trainer, or mother can do is –
Anyway, when I was near the front, he walked across the floor to me, his fair face and light eyes fixed on my face. He asked why the cane. I told him. He swiftly took it from me, saying, “You don’t need this.”
He asked where it was from.
“My Dad gave it to me.”
“He doesn’t need it anymore?”
“Oh, no, he’s OK,” I replied lightly. He and everyone laughed. I told him why I was there: PTSD, reading, brain injury. He was more interested in my eyes. He asked me about my eyesight.
“Oh, it’s OK,” I said just as I realized he was looking directly into my scarred eye. I hadn’t told him which eye was good and which bad. It felt like he was examining my retina with a telescope. Very strange. So I added: “My retina of that eye is scarred, and my macula doesn’t work. But I came to heal my PTSD, reading, and brain injury.” My mother said I asked for healing of my writing too. I don’t remember that! But that would be cool too, being able to write throughout the year not just during NaNoWriMo when I receive the initiation and organization kicks I need because I don’t have them in my injured brain.
He told me to raise my arms with him. He asked for healing for the swellings in my brain (swellings?), the lesions here and there in my brain (like many others, I can feel them when I think about my brain), the traumas, my eyes. He paused. Fear!
He touched my face and told me to walk. Walk? Without my cane to keep me balanced among the cacophony of sound and movement?
He called me back.
“How did that feel?”
It felt exactly like when my brain would improve in a big leap and immediately adjust to that improvement; only hours later would I realize that only the day before I couldn’t think like that or listen like that or do something. (Healing sans instant adjustment was like when my speech would speed up and I would go, hey, wait a minute I can’t keep up! It would take days or weeks for me to adjust to faster speaking.)
He told me to walk quickly. Um, walking was one thing but quickly with my eyes and brain not communicating in real time, with my brain unable to keep up with my speed of movement? That would send me over.
But his sureness that I could sent me walking as quickly as my legs could go.
I didn’t fall over or lose my balance. Not even a hint.
Sweet. I was grinning, and everyone was clapping.
I left feeling better in spirit. The burden of the social isolation, the unforeseen humongously long recovery time, the months of sudden dependence, lifted too. Although stress has returned, I remain better able to function and bounce back, much more so than before the healing.
People noticed a difference in my spirit. I noticed my legs were solid and my feet sure on the ground even though my head spins like a dryer when I walk faster than my brain can process visual information (or even when I get nauseated on the TTC with the train noise and yawing buses). The volume from my ears has been turned down too, so I no longer need earbuds to protect me from auditory overload … for the most part. Noises behind me from footfalls to subway trains to bikes still make me pause as my brain tries to process and locate and identify. But traffic looks normal again, and thoughtless Torontonians are annoying not a danger to my health and well being.
And my visual field expanded. I see more and more clearly. I am practicing so I won’t lose the momentum. Like with human-made healing, if you don’t practice or exercise, you’ll lose it. Unfortunately, I got rundown from NaNoWriMo writing daily and a cold. But I beat the virus quicker than normal: 2 weeks. Recovery of my energy, stamina, thinking, clear vision continues: I’ve regressed a bit. (It’s taken me a month to write this post.) But my legs remain solid, my feet sure of their footing, just like right after the faith healing.