God Heals a Blind Woman!

I alluded to this story in my initial post about my Honduran experience titled Healing in Honduras. My most treasured experience from Honduras was during the visit to Catarina, a local hospital. Our team of fifteen split into three groups to visit different areas within the building. I was placed on the team heading to the maternity ward. Allow me paint the scene for you:

It’s a balmy 95 degrees and there isn’t any air conditioning. The hallways buzz with shuffling nurses, doctors, patients, and visitors. If the patients want cool air, they must bring a fan, otherwise they just sit and sweat. I’ve never been pregnant, but I imagine that heat exacerbates the discomfort of being nine months expectant. Each hospital room had four beds, but there weren’t any kind of dividers between the beds.

The plan was for the four of us teammates to take turns praying for the women as Jake translated for us. We had gotten into a rhythm of asking about the woman and her pregnancy, how her baby was doing, and what we could pray about for them. We had been through two rooms when we got to the room with the blind woman.

She was groaning in agony; she immediately caught my attention. She was not like the other women in the room. She was trembling. She was thin. She was frail. She stared at the ceiling but saw nothing. I whispered to my teammate that I thought she might be blind. I’m apologetic to admit that I wasn’t echoing the prayer of my teammate as they prayed for the first woman we visited in that room, but I was completely captivated by the blind woman. My heart and mind was churning. Something in my soul was pulling me toward her. When it was time to pray for her, it was not my turn in the rotation to pray, but our leader, Maggie, asked if I would. Thank you, God! She was a sweaty, sticky mess despite her feeling cool to the touch. She was saying a phrase over and over, and Jake translated to me that she was asking to see her baby.

“That’s odd,” I thought, “she literally cannot see her baby. She’s blind.” But I knew what she meant. It turns out that her baby had been born three weeks prior to our visit. The grandmother to the baby and mother of this sickly new mom sat at the foot of the bed. We asked her to elaborate on the situation. She informed us that her daughter delivered a healthy baby, but the process made her incredibly sick. Complications led to infections, and the doctors had no hope for her recovery. This woman was waiting for her daughter, this new mom, to die.

I found my fingers running through her matted hair; my hands ran down the length of her arms and back again. All I wanted was to take her pain away. I began to pray for her, but her wails for her baby continued. Our time with this patient ended and my team moved to the next bed, but my feet were planted in place. I was bound to her for the time being. My team was ready to move on to the next room, but Maggie recognized I needed to stay, so they moved on without me.

I got so lost in comforting this poor young woman that it felt like we were the only two people in the room. My eyes searched her body: open sores on her lips, bruises from IVs, arms and legs that had dwindled to mere flesh and bone. I could not bare her failing physical appearance any longer, so I closed my eyes and prayed. When I ran out of things to pray, I began to sing:

You are good / You are good / When there’s nothing good in me

You are love / You are love / On display for all to see

You are light / You are light / When the darkness closes in

You are hope / You are hope / You have covered all my sin

You are peace / You are peace / When my fear is crippling

You are true / You are true / Even in my wandering

You are joy / You are joy / You’re the reason that I sing

You are life / You are life/ In You death has lost its sting

I’m running to Your arms / I’m running to Your arms

The riches of Your love / Will always be enough

Nothing compares to Your embrace / Light of the world forever reign

 

I barely got through line “on display for all to see” before I choked back tears. Despite my valiant effort, I wept over this poor woman as I continued to brokenly sing this song. I sang it a few times through before I realized I had actually drenched this girl in my tears. It was freeing to be so wrapped in worship, but I did know how long I had been there, so thought it would be best to rejoin my team. I turned away from this dear young woman, but met her mother at the end of the bed. She stood up to hug me. We could not verbally communicate, but we wrapped up each other in a tender embrace. We held one another, and we both began to cry. We held onto that moment for a few minutes. I felt the release of her tension as she let out a sigh. I do not think I have ever experienced such a pure moment in all my life. It felt like she somehow endowed me with her mother’s heart. I felt her pain. I felt her heaviness of losing her daughter. I felt her receive peace. She pushed me away far enough to look into my eyes, and she told me she loved me. That was when I was healed of my blindness.

 

I am the woman that was healed from her blindness. I did not previously truly see how Jesus is peace when we have crippling fear. I had not seen how Jesus was the light when there is nothing but darkness shrouding a situation. I had not seen before how the sting of death could be lessened, but I saw it in that mother by her carrying Jesus’s peace deep within her soul despite her daughter’s pending death. Jesus is life. I see that clearly now.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Ingram, Jason and Reuben Morgan. (2009). Forever Reign [Recorded by Hillsong Music Publishing]. On A Beautiful Exchange. USA: Shout! Publishing.

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Honor Thy Father and Mother

I know the commandment is to honor your father and mother, but what about honoring the children? I am fortunate to live in a community where most people know who I am, primarily through my parents. There are countless times people have come up to me to share the impact that my mother has had in their life since she was a teacher for 40 years in this community. People also tell me all the time about how my dad influenced their life when they were on his basketball youth league team or just as a member in the community.

It is truly a blessing to know that my parents are out there making a difference in the world and it sets an example for my siblings and me. I’m not a parent nor am I anywhere close to that stage of life, but it is encouraging and sets up a mindset for me to start building that kind of reputation for myself now for the children I hope to have in the future.

Definitely honor thy father and mother all the days of your life, but parents must also remember to honor their children.

I spoke with both of my parents today. On a phone call with my mom I was greeted with, “Do you need something?” She was implying that she was busy with Meals on Wheels, and did not have time to talk. As I mentioned, my mom retired from teaching after forty years, and how does she choose to spend her retirement? Serving the community. She is constantly setting an example for me. Monday I made a surprise visit to my parent’s house where I found my mom sitting at the kitchen table reading her Bible and journaling. What is better than knowing I was raised by a Jesus loving woman who has been faithful to growing in her relationship with Him her entire life? I am truly blessed.

This afternoon I received a phone call from my dad. No big deal, but he’s in Japan right now serving a community of long-term missionaries. What an adventurous way to serve God! I’ve watched him over the past few months struggle with the call to exit his comfort zone and to walk into ministry in a completely foreign capacity. It is incredibly encouraging to have a God fearing father who walks in obedience to Jesus Christ.

More is caught than taught,” is something I often hear from my wise pastor. What are your children catching from you?

Maybe you don’t have any children or your parents are no longer a part of your life. Even still, everything you do as a Christian should have Jesus’s name on it. All the days of your life you are still representing the name of Jesus wherever you go. Whether it’s in our community or across the world, my parents are honoring God. I am beyond proud to be in their family.

Regardless of your status as a parent, and whether you’re cognizant of it or not, you are influencing people around you. More of what you do and say is caught through their observations of you than by what you say. What are people catching from you?

 

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