Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The "Big" Chuckle

Image description: Two green eyes, eyebrows and a circle in the middle of the forehead with and arrow point to it with the words 'LOL - God'
 I always politely refused.

There were two reasons that I said, "No," when I was offered anointing and a prayer for healing at church. This is a regular part of the service and most people come forward and during this time the church is really silent as if everyone senses the sacredness of what was happening. But as I said, I always refused because I had two concerns.

I was convinced that everyone would assume that when I received the anointing and the prayers began, my prayers would be to 'rise up and walk.' I was completely sure that my disability would make the subject of my prayers an easy assumption. The assumption would be wrong, but I knew it would be made. I didn't want people to first assume and then go around with pity in their hearts because the prayer (I didn't make) as so clearly answered.

The second reason was because of a kind of low level latent anger about the whole healing thing. My occasional contacts with strangers who have wanted, sometimes quite aggressively, to lay hands on me to pray for me, have left me a little angry at the prejudice buried in their, what they think, generous offer. Further, to be told, often, and again by 'loving' strangers, that my disability is a result of sinfulness and my repentance is the key to my healing. Yikes, I need little of that in my life.

But, the other day at church, I had something that I felt did need healing. The kind of thing that I think many pray for - healing from hurt, or from anger, or from disappointment, or for lack of resolve, or for grief and sorrow. I surprised them by saying 'yes' when offered. We wheelchair folk have the choice of going up or remaining in our places and having the deacons come to us. Most often, we all choose just to stay in place.

The deacon approached me and put the anointing 'salve' on my forehead and said a prayer and I prayed, deeply, for the issue that was of concern to me. I found the whole thing a wonderful and deeply meaningful ritual and, unsurprisingly, I felt better afterwards. I looked around and realized that the world wasn't focused on me, no one seemed to notice and therefore no one was able to assume anything. Note to self: it's not always about you.

Then a few days later, I noticed something when washing my face. It wasn't much, but my forehead felt a little bit different. By the end of the week, it was plain, there was a small dry and irritated area right in the centre of my forehead. Luckily it was invisible to the eye, or people would really wonder what happened to me. I struggled to figure it out.

And then I did.

I'm allergic to the healing salve, or the anointing oil, or whatever it is they use.

I'm touching the spot now and while its nearly gone now, it's still there, reminding me, and I'm not sure you'll see it the same way ... that God has a helluva sense of humour.


Unknown said...

A rather ironic sense of humor, I've always thought! I hope the actual experience did bring some ease of suffering for you. Clairesmum

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

And if you immediately go to the men's room after the service and vigorously wash your forehead, what will they think?

You can't win - you can only laugh when the absurdity gets to the breaking point.

You'll have to ask for the blessing without the salve. But I'm glad you felt the healing, which I'm sure resides partly in you being able to ask.

CapriUni said...

Well, I laughed.

And God gave you a great line, the next time a random "Evangelist on the Street" offers to pray for you.

Just imagine the look on their face when you say: "No thanks. I'm allergic -- God told me so!"

That might even make them pause before they make the same offer to someone else.

Namaste said...

Everyone reacts to essential oils if there is not enough of a carrier oil in the mix. They say it is to make you "most holy", but I think it opens your third eye to make you more open to the idea of healing. If the irritation has kept you thinking about this healing, perhaps keeping healing thoughts in your head and revisiting these thoughts help in the process?

Just an observation.

AnyBeth said...

I, for one, find it hilarious. Prompted a giggling fit.

On the "rise up and walk" kind of issue, once, a long time ago, I was in my recently-purchased wheelchair, waiting on someone at the airport. A cold, rainy day, I wore both coat and raincoat. After a finagling struggle to remove said garments, I learned they'd be easier to take off if I first got up so none of them were under me. The waiting people across from me dropped their jaws and at least one gasped, as if no one that uses a wheelchair has any use of their legs. Riiight. Anyway, after that, I vowed that if I ever got that response again, I'd exclaim, "It's a miracle!" (or some such), let my knees falter, and sit/fall back down, perhaps snapping my fingers in a "missed it by that much" sort of way. Of course, having decided this, it's never happened again.