Monday, March 1, 2010

one came back

I was once taking a pastor home from a service. It had been a meeting to discuss plans for an HIV/AIDS ministry. At the end of the meeting, everyone had begun to sing and dance as usual. This particular pastor went around praying for each woman in turn and placing her hands on their heads. As she left each woman, I saw her shake her hands as if the power had gone out from them and they needed rejuvenation.

In the car, I asked her about it. She is a healer and she is the founder and bishop of her church. She told me that she is sad because everyone wants to come to her for healing but, having been healed, they do not come back. She said that, as a pastor, you have to be prepared that on any given Sunday you may be preaching only to your husband.

Soon after we began attending church in Mandela Park, a young man appeared at church one Sunday. At a time in the service in which people are prayed for, he came forward and said that he had "fits" and wanted healing. Everyone gathered around and prayed for him.

That man came back. Every week. Every mid-week service. We have never been at church when he wasn't and we have never made it to church before him.

The pastors have continued to pray for him. They have also taken him to a doctor. When it was time for his circumcision, his initiation into manhood, the pastor took him to a doctor for the physical circumcision and then visited him during his time of seclusion to teach him on what it means to be a man.

While the nine went on their way, satisfied with their healing, this man is the one who came back to give praise to God. While his healing may have been affected in that first visit, truly it is his faith that has made him well (Luke 17:11-19).

--anna

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