5.5.11

We Were Sisters

I promised in this post last week, where I was waxing rhapsodic about the multitude of expressions of faith in God, to tell you a story sometime. Not a day later I heard about the Rally to Restore Unity, which is fun and clever, not to mention needed, and has it's own hashtag. #restoreunity So it seemed a good time to tell my story.

Here it is.

My accompanist in college was named George. When you are a voice major a good accompanist is a very important thing to have. George was very good. We spent a lot of time rehearsing. We didn't really hang out socially, but we were friends.

George was married to a sweet girl and they had a little baby boy. George was also Mormon.

Cut to a year later, word spread, somehow as it does, through the college, "George has stomach cancer. He only has a few weeks to live. If you want to say good bye, go to the hospital now."

They hadn't told anyone he had cancer, they were trying alternative treatments, it hadn't worked. Now the end was near.

Now, I grew up praying for sick people to get better. You can doubt my sanity all you want, but some of them actually did. Lots of them didn't. I once watched as a girl with a severely sprained and casted ankle, in the space of about 3 minutes went from terribly swollen to the cast being so loose it was falling off and she could jump on it.

See, that there, already there are people from other Christian traditions who are backing up mentally because that's just weird. And they're right, it is weird. But so was Jesus. I mean, the guy raised people from the dead and healed them and stuff and told his disciples to keep on doing it after he left. I grew up believing that was still our job.

Anyway, there was no way I wasn't going to pray for my friend George to get well. If you've seen it work even once, you aren't going to not try that option when a friend is at death's door. At least, I wasn't.

But he was Mormon, so I was super nervous, because I didn't want to offend him and I didn't know if he would let me. Also, what if it didn't work? I mean, it might not, and then what?

So I took myself down to the hospital and there was a crowd of rowdy music majors hanging out in his room chatting, so I waited. They left. It was just George, and his wife, who's name I forget now, sadly, and me. I was just mustering the courage to ask him if I could pray for him when the door opened again and a lady from their church walked in.

She sat on the foot of his hospital bed and looked at the two of them. "I just had to tell you something. I was praying today, and I don't know why he chose me, but I just know," here she paused to push past tears, "I just KNOW that God loves me. I don't know why he would give me a gift like that, to just know and feel it but I do, and I want to share it with you."

Well, that rocked my little Christian world.

I recognized her. Or rather, I recognized the spirit in her. It was the same spirit that was in me. We were sisters, and I knew it.

So I asked then if I we could pray for George.

"You be the voice Carrien", he said, and stretched his long arms and huge pianist hands to either side of his bed as we all joined hands. It wasn't a great prayer, but it was sincere.

"Father, you say that by your stripes we are healed, so I ask you to heal George. I want him to be here to watch his little boy grow up. I know you can if you choose, so I'm asking, just in case."

That woman, who's name I never learned just stared at me. I could see it, the way her eyes widened and her gaze narrowed straight on me. She was looking for something to say, but I knew what she was feeling. "You are a very special person," she said, over and over again, "You are a very special person."

I think she recognized me too. We were sisters.

But she was Mormon and I think they believe crazy things. Look who's talking.

But we were sisters.

That day undid me. I could never dismiss another's faith again, as I had so glibly in the past, because, they might be sisters, or brothers. God didn't seem to need them to agree with me in order to speak to them and tell them he loves them, in a way that they know, deep down, that it's true.

Later when I met my father in law I became familiar with a saying of his in his book Authority to Heal and it rang true from my experience. "God seems to be willing to transmit on any antenna we put up."

If God isn't picky, who am I to be?

And with that, I offer my rally to restore unity sign.



Go check out the rally page. They're also raising donations for Charity: water.

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Brought me to tears Carrien! Thank you for inspiring me today!
    Joy

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE this post, I love it. I think we have made God far too small...He's outside all our theologies and beliefs and is holding the whole universe together.
    And I agree with your sign...I'm pretty sure He can handle it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful story. Loved the sign too. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for this, Carrien.

    When we lived in Texas, I became friends with two absolutely wonderful women who happen to be Mormon. They completely rocked every preconceived notion I had of that faith. And I knew - I KNEW - from the moment I met them that they were sisters. There's just that, well, Spirit-meets-Spirit moment, you know? I knew it with them instantly.

    I loved this story and I think it's a perfect addition to the chorus singing unity this week.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was beautiful! And I don't think you are crazy...the gospel is filled with stories of Jesus healing people and He said we would do greater things than He. I believe that you did a great thing that day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think I may have missed it in the post somewhere but I read it twice, I'm assuming that your friend didn't pull through after all? :( I feel like a jerk for asking, but I feel like I need to know how it turned out...

    It was a beautiful story though. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. MrsLaLa: George died 2 weeks later. I just couldn't find a way to work that into the post. I understand needing to know how it ends. I'm the same.

    ReplyDelete

I want to know what you think.

Facebook Share

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...