They put him on steroids and that shrank the tumor and eased his pain, but when the biopsy came back, they used words that caused a chill in my core.
I'm a true believer in Jesus Christ, and I do believe He can heal anyone, anytime, even thousands of years beyond his time here on earth. But when something like this happens, words like the doctors used, served to challenge my faith......at least for a few days.
But thankfully, I've done a good job of reading bible stories to my daughter nearly every night. Because that week, after reading her some stories from the New Testament, where Jesus heals the sick, and raises people from the dead, my daughter comes up with the brilliant plan, that we should pray, and ask Jesus to come and heal her Grandad!
Well, I thought that was a spectacular idea. So, we set about to do that immediately. Now, don't misunderstand. I have been praying to God every day of my life since about 1989, and you can bet I was beating down God's door, ever since my Dad went to the hospital. But, something about the simple faith of a child, made me stop and wonder about the nature of my previous prayers.
Something about the pleas I was making to God, seemed different somehow. In those prayers, I was a lowly, insignificant human, praying to a distant God, who I knew had allowed lots of people die from cancer. This time, I was thinking of Jesus, the Jesus of the New Testament, who clearly did care, in a personal way about those who asked for his help. He always told them it was by their faith, that they were healed.
In one instance, a woman believes so strongly that if she can only touch his robe, as he passes her in the street, that she will be healed. She reaches out, and without any conscious act of will on his part, he says, "I felt the power go out from me." and asks who has touched him, even though there were many there touching and jostling about him in the street. She admits it was her, and he tells her that her faith has healed her.
This story is, for me, the most amazing and hopeful story in the bible. If a person can, through their own faith, reach out to God, though this conduit of His Son Jesus, without the Son's conscious will, then it seems to me, that the physical presence of his body is irrelevant, and that it's possible to do the same thing, though our faith, even today.
Well, I'd already had this revelation in the past, but for some reason, I was still in a more habitual state of holding God way out there, in my mind. My daughter's prayer made it so much more immediate, and brought this idea, back into my mind, and enabled me to pray in a new way.
No longer on a tentative static filled line to God, I was asking Jesus himself, who's loving character was revealed to me in the New Testament, and who lives our hearts today, to be the conduit, to reach out to my dad, with my faith in His power to heal, and touch him, and heal him completely.
Then, I hugged my daughter, and turned out the light, and went to bed, feeling truly hope filled, for the first time, since all this occurred.
The next day, I went to see my Dad. I was astonished to see him leap out of his chair to greet me and hug me!
I must say, that previous to this, his physical and cognitive decline was so rapid, as to cause me to think that the 4 months the doctors had estimated he had left, were a poor estimation. It looked more like weeks, to me. He had not slept more than an hour or two for the past month. His body functions were shutting down. He was in bed nearly all the time, and he ate almost nothing, and the little he did eat was only to ease his wife's worries, not from any appetite. Also his skin was nearly lobster red and peeling, as if he'd been sunburned, all over his entire body. (We are still not sure what caused this symptom, but it was severe.)
I was there for several hours. During the course of that time, I watched his color, thinking and clarity of speech improve dramatically. By the end of my visit, my Dad was standing in the kitchen, raising his hands in the air, singing an old hymn about "Billows of Love", and he and I began a gentle waltz around the kitchen.
He then sat down and ate a giant plate of beans, brown rice, and broccoli. I was witnessing a miracle.
Later, I checked my messages. At 9am he had called to say that he had really slept for the first time, since all this started. He'd had a dream in which a traffic director was standing in front of "Hell Hospital" and "Suzanne's House", and directed him to go to the latter, and he did. He said he felt like he'd turned a corner in his recovery.
That all happened last Thursday, and I am happy to report that he is increasingly better. He got 6 hour stretches of sleep the past two days and he is feeling so much better! He is getting back to doing some of his online work, and is today, ready to get out and do some errands. He wants to go shopping at Costco and then get a hair cut. He has been given a wheelchair, so he doesn't tire himself out too much.
My son and I are going to pick him up now. I'm so excited!