On Fridays I go to the local hospital and chat to the patients and pray with them if they want me to.
The Friday before last I was talking to a delightful man in his fifties from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He had had a knee replacement and, as part of his treatment for the pain postoperatively, had had local anaesthetic injected around the nerve in his groin that enervates the knee. Unfortunately the nerve was damaged and his leg was now partially paralysed, so that he could not walk on it.
In his lovely French accent, he was telling me this in a controlled, dignified manner until, unasked, the floodgates of despair welled up. His eyes filled with tears and his mouth turned down in an anguished sob as he poured out all his concern for the future.
“What am I going to do? I cannot work like this. My wife just sells a few ornaments on the beach. “‘Ow can I look after ‘er?” I battled to understand him as the words came out in a staccato from a tight throat. Then, as he looked desperately for hope in a hopeless situation he said, “I know that God can ‘elp me.” In his dire circumstances he was looking in the right direction.
I agreed with him and offered to pray.
I so wanted God to touch and heal him. As our little visiting group met afterwards I shared his story and we all prayed.
He was on my mind all week and as I went into the ward last Friday, I was pleased to see that he was still there. His eyes lit up when I entered. “Ahh, Daveed,” he said, “I am soo glad to see you. You deed not leave a phone numbeer.”
He was full of smiles and told me that 10 minutes after I had prayed he felt the paralysed muscle in his leg start to twitch and within half an hour he had full strength back. He was now receiving physiotherapy for his knee. He was full of praise for God and had a book in French beside his bed on what it means to be a true follower of Christ. And, of course, the others in the ward were open to prayer.
I believe that as the Lord prepares us for His return we will see this more and more. If we are faithful in being His hands and feet – and mouth(!) – he will display His beautiful, loving, powerful character.