ANSWERED PRAYERS (PART 2)
“The pastor said to us, ‘I must ask you a very important question.’ He paused for a moment and then asked us, point-blank, ‘Do you want Kate healed?’”
“What did you say?” asked Becky.
“Of course!” Barb exclaimed.
“Obviously, my answer was the same,” I commented. “But for some reason my suspicion meter was rising. It didn’t feel quite right to me. Then he completely shocked us. With an absolutely straight face he told us, ‘Then you have to understand that her sickness comes from sin.’”
John’s and Becky’s mouths dropped open. “Are you serious?” John asked.
“That was my exact thought, Doc John!” Barb commented. “In fact, I looked him in the eye and said, ‘From sin? How can a little girl have sinned?’ He smiled at me and then explained, ‘Oh, Barb, it’s not her sin.’”
“Oh no!” exclaimed Ken. “I know just where he was going.”
“Well then, what sin?” Doc John asked.
“The answer shocked us,” I added. “He looked at Barb and me and whispered, ‘It’s your sin.’”
“Yours!” John and Becky cried in unison.
Barb picked up the story. “That’s exactly what we said.”
“How’d he answer you?” asked Ken.
“He told us yes!” I answered. “He said, ‘You want Kate healed. God wants her to be healed. Then you need only ask him to heal her, and he will. You’ve got to ask in his holy name. You’ve got to say the word—to declare it, to profess it. You’ve got to claim his great promise. But, first and foremost, you’ve got to confess your sin. The only thing that keeps him from healing her is your failure to admit and confess all of your sins and then claim his healing for her.’”
“You kiddin’ me?” exclaimed Doc John.
Ken spoke up. “There are plenty of people who believe that theology, and they’re just plain wrong!”
Barb added, “In my heart of hearts, I knew he was wrong. What a horrible injustice! I thought when he said that. I mean, to blame a little girl’s disability on her parents!”
“I’m no pastor,” I said, “and certainly no theologian, but when he said that, I thought to myself, That dog just plain won’t hunt! Yet my soul ached for Kate. And I knew I’d do almost anything to see her healed.”
“So what did you say?” Ken asked.
“I simply asked him what we needed to do.”
Barb continued. “He led us as we kneeled in our living room and asked God to forgive our sins—even those of which we were not yet aware and had not yet been convicted. Then he placed Kate, in her child seat, between us. He laid our hands on Kate’s head and his hands on ours. He claimed God’s healing for Kate and thanked God for the healing that only he could bring. The prayer was loud and intense. How it didn’t wake little Kate, I’ll never know.”
John chuckled. “Man oh man! So what happened?”
I continued the story. “Well, the prayer session finally ended. The pastor gave us a few final instructions. We were to expect Kate to begin to develop normally. We were to believe it. We were to continue to claim it in daily prayer. We were to expect the Devil to be defeated—along with his disease.”
Becky and John were silent. Ken looked at them and then at Barb. “Well, I guess it’s obvious Kate wasn’t healed, right?”
“That’s right,” answered Barb. “Over the next few months, she didn’t improve. I poured even more time into her therapy. And Walt poured even more time into his medical training.”
“How’d you feel, Walt?” asked John.
“It was bad enough that we were growing apart; however, what was even worse was that in the depth of my soul I believed Kate’s disease was caused by me and my sin.”
“Did you buy that drivel, Walt?” asked Ken.
“I did, Ken. But God was about to demonstrate how he answers prayer—in a way neither the name-it-and-claim-it pastor nor we expected or anticipated.”
Barb picked up the story. “As Walt worked thirty- and thirty- six-hour shifts, I looked for a small home to purchase—finally finding one in a quaint neighborhood halfway between Durham County General Hospital and Duke Hospital—the two hospitals at which Walt worked. It was a beautiful little house with hardwood floors in a very quiet neighborhood with nice trees. The backyard would be a perfect place for children to play safely. This house—or rather the neighborhood in which it was located—was the source of many answered prayers for Walt and me. Yet our buying it also answered some of the prayers of others.”
“The prayers of others?” asked Becky.
Barb smiled. “Absolutely!”
“How so?” asked Ken.
“Well, across the street, Gertrude and Walter Eakes were praying that a young couple would buy the empty house and that the couple would have one or more small children who could become their ‘adopted’ grandchild or grandchildren.”
I added, “Next door, Richard and Margaret Scearce, who loved to coach and come alongside young couples, were praying that a couple, young in their spiritual journey and needing mentoring, would move in.”
Doc John chuckled.
I continued. “Next door to the Scearces, and two doors from our house-to-be, lived several single men—all medical or psychiatry residents and all strong in their faith—who were praying that a young doctor who was really messed up would move in.”
Now John, Becky, and Ken all began to laugh.
“Better yet,” I added, “kitty-corner to the empty house sat a small neighborhood church that had a fresh-out-of-seminary pastor named Mac Bare. One day the pastor was visited by a nurse, one of his parishioners, who worked at the Lennox Baker Cerebral Palsy Hospital. She had a desire to begin a ministry on Sunday mornings to the families of children with profound disabilities. She asked him, ‘Why not use one of our Sunday morning nursery rooms to serve as a respite room for these children? Parents could leave their children with us for Sunday morning. If they want to attend church, fine. But if not, if they just need time to themselves—respite time—then that’s okay too. We’d just be here to serve them.’”
“What’d he say to that?” asked Ken.
“The young pastor liked the idea; however, neither the nurse nor the pastor knew of any parents in the neighborhood who needed such services. So the nurse said to the pastor, ‘Well then, let’s pray that some will move in!’”
“Little did Barb and I know that simply by being led to buy this house, we were answering so very many of their prayers.”
“That’s an incredible story,” John remarked. “God really did use you to answer a lot of prayers!”
“You bet, John. And in the same way, ours were being answered in ways we could not have imagined.”
TO BE CONTINUED
PAST STORIES FROM BRYSON CITY TALES
- The Murder (Part 1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
- The Arrival (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The Hemlock Inn (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The Grand Tour (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The Interview (Part 1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
- Settling In (Part 1); (Part 2)
- First-Day Jitters (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Emergency (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The Delivery (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The “Expert” (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The Trial (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Shiitake Sam (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
- Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina; (Part 2); (Part 3); (Part 4)
- White Lies
- The Epiphany (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Monuments (Part 1); (Part 2)
- My First Home Victory (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Fisher of Men (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
- Something Fishy (Part 1); (Part 2)
- A Good Day at the Office
- An Evening to Remember
- Another New Doc Comes to Town
- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1); (Part 2)
- A Surprising Gift
- The New Year (Part 1); (Part 2)
- The Home Birth (Part1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
- The Showdown (Part1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
- The Initiation (Part 1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
- Home at Last (Part 1); (Part 2); (Part 3)
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