Yesterday Sr. Wantabee was at the nursing home and a “healing service” was held. The text was something about Jesus healing a man somewhere in his ministry. Sr. Wantabee could not help but ponder the man in the wheelchair in the back row, in front of her. The man was from Sr. Wantabee’s floor. One side of his body was crippled with a stroke, the final insult from a god who made him with a deformed mouth that needed multiple operations before age 5 just so he could eat, and this god had given him parents who pawned him off to foster homes to raise him. His life was a series of mishaps and worse misunderstandings, filled with rage and rejection. The last time Sr. Wantabee chatted with the man, he had released a long series of vulgar, explicative adjectives to let her know what he thought of this god who had abused and ruined his life so. Sr. Wantabee wondered how he was receiving all this talk. The preacher finished and two ancient guardians of the church sat in the front for the mobile in the audience to approach and be prayed for. Meanwhile two other pastors started at the front of the congregation and gradually were working their way back through the audience of mostly wheel chairs. Do these Lake Woebegone Lutherans truly think there are going to be healings? Back in the day of the hippies, an altar call was given and people who wanted a healing came forward. Can you just go up and down the isles praying and anointing with oil?
Sr. Wantabee bowed her head and tried to calm her doubting heart. The least she could do is pray for this man in the wheel chair, trapped in this service. Deep in prayer, she was startled when her neighbor nudged her to indicate that the leader was calling her forward. Would she feel comfortable helping? Take a bowl of anointing oil and start in the back row with the man in the wheel chair! Sr. Wantabee gulped. Did she believe God could heal? She took the bowl and moved toward the man who swore so prolifically at her God. Read the rest of this entry »