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A Healing

The Guideposts executive editor reflects on an important lesson in giving.

For over a week I’ve been suffering from an infection—I’ll spare you the gory details. Just let it be known that I had to go the doctor’s office twice last week and I think there are going to be a few more trips this week. Not fun.

But on Sunday morning, as I was sitting in the choir loft at church I looked over to the alto section and saw my friend Roberta and thought, “Boy, I could use her help.”

Roberta is a healer. Professionally and spiritually (talk about a perfect link of avocation and vocation). She’s a nurse and has worked most of her career in the military. These days she’s running a program in the city for women’s health. She knows all the science behind good medicine. But Roberta also has spiritual gifts of healing. She doesn’t make a big thing about it, but if you ask, she’ll sit with you and pray and hold her hands over you as you pray.

“Hey, Roberta,” I told her at the end of the service, “I could use a little help.”

The kids had all run off to Sunday school, half the adults were still at coffee hour and the other half were in a class downstairs. The two of us found a corner of the auditorium and first we talked.

I heard about what Roberta’s been going through—her kids, her job, stuff she’s been worried about. Then we both closed our eyes for a long while. I prayed for my infection, but I also prayed for Roberta. That her job would go well, that her daughter would find her way in life, that she would find a certain emotional healing.

I don’t know about the infection but I sure felt better after we prayed. A little less inclined to worry about the thing, a little more trustful. 

“I hope you feel better,” I told her.

“Yes,” she said, “that’s one of the things that comes with healing. I always get back more than I ever expect.”

I gave her a hug and walked downstairs, thinking about how much we all get back when we give the gifts we were meant to share.  

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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