(*please skip if you have not been following this story). I realize that I have written Dorothy's story in some depth. That's partly because this whole event gave the church a remarkable deacon and leader whose new-found energy had thanksgiving threaded through all she did. Even those who balked at the idea of Dorothy's healing marvelled at her vibrant health and contagious faith.
But also as I reflect on this story I recognize that it was pushing the church outside its comfort zone. Dorothy's healing opened up possibilities of God working beyond our control, of the trans-rational dimension where ordinary people experience the beyond-our-control power of God. Too often church life can be entirely explicable - everything that happens has human explanation and stays firmly under human control. As a church we were being encountered by God who acts beyond human control, uncomfortably and gloriously, doing things among us and within us. A spiritual hand grenade had exploded spiritually!
Having said that I must emphasize that as we developed future healing services we were going to make some big mistakes, especially when we opened up to the public with far too little preparation which allowed unhealthy expectations and major disappointments. Yet, through the next years the positives mightily outweighed all the rest. Without a doubt this was an important growth spurt in our understanding and experience of what God might do if we let him.