It was a conference for Sunday School teachers.
The crowd consisted of down-to-earth housewives, mothers, even some older, benevolent grandmotherly types. Lots of nice, well-meaning women attending, simply trying to fill a need at their church. Most were mothers who wanted to be involved in teaching the faith to their kids. My friend and I were the only Catholics in the group and that added to a feeling of alienation. So, I came albeit grudgingly. I really did not expect to learn anything more than a few interesting tips on how to hold children's interest.
I was pretty fed up with learning techniques and strategies. I wanted, no I needed, to receive more from God in my deepest self, in my spirit because I was tired and depleted. I did not need more facts. What I craved cannot be taught. It flows at the most unexpected moments from God himself. It did not look like it could ever happen in this setting.
Then a nurse, with a freshly scrubbed face and no make-up, in running shoes and jeans, announced that she had a gift of praying for people with crooked spines or scoliosis. My friend elbowed me, and I shyly raised my hand only a little higher than my head. The nurse spotted me right away,
"Come right up here to the front and I will pray over you for a physical healing."
I sighed and stood up front, trying to open my heart to God but feeling self-conscious and doubtful. I felt nothing. No heat. No tingling, stretching or lengthening. Zip. Zilch.
The nurse had me touch my toes again. Excitedly, she announced to the crowd,
"Her spine is straight." She smiled at the audience.
Then she sat me down on a chair, "Look, your legs are now the same length. How do you feel?"
I was in shock as I stared at the leg that had been 1 to 2 inches shorter a moment ago. I reached back to feel my back. I felt taller and I knew I stood straight but my mind started to race, “How could this be? I did not feel anything. It was impossible. Surely if muscles and bones, never mind the nerves, moved and shifted, stretched and realigned, surely I would have felt something, wouldn't I?”
I ran to the washroom and looked in the huge mirror. Sure enough, I stood straight and tall but my mind could not process this.
When a chiropractor was struck dumb and my agnostic mother wept with joy, weeks later, then I allowed myself to relax and simply accept the bizarre, the surreal. I was healed.
(© 2013 Melanie Jean Juneau)
Melanie Jean Juneau is a petite wife, writer and mother of nine children who blogs at melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com. When the words "The Joy of Mothering on a Hobby Farm" popped into her head as a subtitle for her short stories it was like an epiphany for her because those few words verbalized her experience living with little people. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong currant of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life, especially a life lived in God.