Saturday, August 1, 2009

O Ye of Little Faith: Anatomy of a Miracle

Some time back I posted an entry titled "BMW: In Sickness and in Health" (please see), where I bemoaned the health of my wife who for several years has been in chronic back pain and debilitating depression. She often spoke of ending her life.
"Pray, have faith, ask God for a miracle", we were constantly told by friends and well-wishers. "You are in our prayers." Yet not prayer, not numerous and painful spinal injections, not a recent spinal surgery, nor drugs could relieve her pain. "Things happen for a reason" rang hollow to us. "God has a plan." We could not see it, much less believe it.
Close friends beseeched us to go to local Healing Masses, but we were always quick to find excuses not to go, not withstanding 2 or 3 hour masses with her sitting on hard wooden pews. We knew that these services were conducted by "Charismatics", who we had tended to shy away from in the past.
Well, Saturday last we finally went to a Healing Mass at a local parish. I already had another commitment at exactly the same time, performing at our local library, but I figured I could attend the mass, after I finished. Secretly, I had hoped the ceremony would be over when I arrived but a text message from my son assured me "Dad, the healing rites have just started".
When I arrived, they were about third from the front of the line, and I joined them. At our turn, we asked for the healer, Bob, who had been highly recommeded to us. He asked my wife what ailed her and she began her litany of complaints, back, neck, leg pain, deep hopeless and depression. He layed hands on her and began praying invoking God, Jesus and the Saints to renew this broken body and restore her faith, often speaking "in tongues". I don't think I have ever prayed so hard.
Bob then asked my son and I to ease my wife to the hardwood gymnasium floor on her back and we did so. He continued to pray over her and we held her arms tight, but he told us to release her. He then told her to stand and to leave her cane (which she always used to walk with), raise both hands over her head, and to walk around the hall! I started to go with her, fearing she might stumble, waver or fall, but Bob signaled me to let her do it alone. She walked with a gait I have not seen in years. When she returned he told her to walk around again, this time lifting each knee into the air as she walked and she did it perfectly. Tears of joy flooded my cheeks.
As we sat on a wooden bleacher my wife said: "I feel so good. I feel so light. I feel as if a giant weight has been lifted off my back." On the way across the parking lot, me walking our usual slow gait, she actually tugged, urging me to walk faster.
It has been a week now, and she is about 95% pain free. Her beautiful smile has returned. Her depression is completely gone and we still have not tired of telling our family, friends and anyone who will listen that there is a God and the He cares. That miracles are real. That there is power in prayer, power in faith. Maybe God just got tired of hearing our ceaseless prayers?

"O ye of little faith! If you had the faith of a mustard seed, you could say to that mountain 'move' and the mountain would move."


Nain said...

Mr. Rios I'm so happy for you and Chela! That's really amazing, your blog left me speechless. Tell Chela I said hello please.

Rick Rivers said...

Thanks Nain. We are still amazed too. Keep in touch.

#167 Dad said...

I'm happy for you both as well. It's good to be reminded of the miraculous aspect of life.

Rick Rivers said...

Yes, we tend to forget that.

#167 Dad said...

You are the recipient of THE MANLY BLOGGER GUY AWARD!