Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure* 66) Prayer and Poison

(*please skip if you have not been following this story).  Few of us enjoy injections but I remember my desire to get that needle deep into the twisting muscles at the back and front of my neck!  I was told that if I was one of the fortunate patients I would be unlikely to see any effects until after the seventh day.  Oh, how everyone prayed as I returned home and began waiting.  Seven days came and went with no progress.  Every morning when I awoke my twisting head was agony to lift from the pillow and it stubbornly remained unchanged.  I could only look ahead by forcing my right hand up against my chin to ram up my head.

Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve days all passed with no improvement.  Carol and the boys tried to hide their desperation that it was going to fail.  I felt utterly helpless wondering if the toxin was still working inside my muscles and whether it could be potent enough to stop the twisting.  Whether God the healer was at work in this process. And the nightly prayer meeting kept going.

On the thirteenth morning I woke up and for the first time in many months I could look ahead! I lifted my head up straight (or at least straighter).  I actually had some control!   I shouted out the good news.  Delirium broke out.  Rejoicing spread rapidly through the church.  I was obviously still nowhere near being upright in stance and the pain had not entirely abated but I was coming out of a long dark tunnel.

Vernon had proposed that the nightly prayer meeting continue until Maundy Thursday.  How extraordinary because it now looked possible that I might actually be able to preach on Easter Day.  Someone in the gallery later described that morning service which was led with such joy by Nigel.  He said I was obviously far from healed.  My body was still twisted with my head tilted on one side.  Everyone could see that as I stood before them. Yet, when I went up into the pulpit, I seemed to be set free and preached with freedom.  The National Hospital had warned me that stress would always make the dystonia worse, yet here I was set free. 

As friends know, I have proved to be one of those patients who requires botulinum injections every three months to keep offending muscles paralyzed.  And, to my immense gratitude, such injections have continued ever since.  Carol calls the story as Prayer and Poison.  

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