Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Blind from birth, Jane simply requested, "I want to see!"
We had spent the day hearing from the Linn Brothers teach us about healing. Now it was time to put the teaching into practice. Those who needed prayer for healing were instructed to rise from their theatre like seats and stand signifying their need.
The rest of the people were asked to gather around anyone near by, ask what the prayer need was and then lay their hands on the person and pray silently for 5 minutes for that person. “Be Jesus to the person,” was the instruction. What that meant I had no idea. In fact in some way I thought it was a bit presumptuous. 3 of us lined ourselves up around Jane, a tall 40ish woman near us- one each side of her in her row and myself reaching out over the seats in front of her.
On one side of her a short elderly priest, somewhat patronizingly, said, “Well dearie what can we do for you? Her reply was quiet and simple- “I want to see.” The priest was quite taken aback and the woman on the other side almost faded out of the picture. My scientific medical nurses mind said, “Impossible” Then I asked, “Do you just need to see better without glasses?” “No”, she said, “I have been blind since birth”. Then breaking through the sense of overwhelming helplessness came the leader's instructions again, “Get on with your praying and just be Jesus to whoever needs His healing”. In obedience we began.
In silence. 5 minutes at first seems like a long time! It was in that time that I heard God tell me how to pray. It was also in that time that I struggled and reasoned with God about why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do what I heard Him saying. Very clearly I heard Him say “Lay your hands upon her eyes”. “I can’t Lord! You know as an Anglican I’m not to do the Laying on of Hands and especially on the head.” “Lay your hands on her eyes”, came the persistent charge over and over again.
After what seemed like an eternity (in actual fact only a couple of minutes) I gave in and laid my right hand across her eyes. That moment for me was a profound experience of God - a real theophany! Then breaking through the awe came some more instructions from the front of the room - “Check with the person with whom you are praying and see where she or he is at”. We all opened our eyes and to our amazement Jane read my first name which was in larger print on my name tag. She said, “I can only read your first name. Your last name reminds me of the story of how the blind man Jesus was in the process of healing saw trees walking!” We were awe struck to put it mildly!
Jane continued speaking directly to me, “You know when you put your hand on my eyes, it was not your hands I SAW but I SAW the hands of Jesus. I saw Him as soon as you touched me.” At this point further instructions were given- “If the healing isn’t complete pray more, continue to be Jesus - another 5 minutes.
We went back to silent prayer! With expectation this time! No hesitation about laying hands on her eyes! At the end of the 5 minutes Jane opened her eyes and read what she said was a clear first name and a slightly blurred last name. God had not only opened her eyes but had also taught her to read! Awesome!