We’re all used to the helpful advice and tips about ways that we might not have heard before to beat our MS, right? Special tonics. Bee stings. Extreme diets. Burying acorns upside down in the back yard under a full moon. Ok, I made up that last one, but I certainly have heard an assortment of “cures” since I was diagnosed. I’ve grown used to the desire to be helpful from people who are removed from my immediate circle of family and friends.
But I was taken aback recently by a dear friend’s phone call. She had news, something she wanted to tell me, but was hesitating to spill the beans. I guessed a new man in her life, a much needed new job, a different house, and even more. She insisted no, it was none of those, but yet didn’t want to quite say what was on her mind. I could tell she was struggling with how to tell me whatever it was she needed to say, and after several minutes I finally got her to come clean.
She swore that what she wanted to say to me, she would only say once and never bring it up again. Come –on, I urged her. What is it you want to say?
She wanted me to go to church, not just any church but her church. Her church is one of these non-denominational mega churches that seem to have appeared everywhere across the US in the past decade. It has all the glitter and pop that so many find attractive in their worship. She found this church a few years ago and we have had the conversation more than one that I feel like she has joined a cult.
She pointed out that I am living with a chronic disease, of which there is no cure, and that my physical condition will continue to decline unless something extraordinary happens . And then she sprung it on me that there was a healer doing services this particular weekend, and she laid out her best argument. It would cost me nothing. I could sit in the back and wouldn’t even have to let her know I was there, because this is a mega-church. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, according to my friend.
She said she has seen things that couldn’t be explained and believed that the same could happen for me. I pointed out that those unexplainable occurrences happened only to people who are open to the idea and receptive; as we all know, the mind is an incredibly persuasive tool toward physical change. I also discussed with her my need to see the science rather than feel the magic. I told her how much I appreciated that this was a difficult topic for her to bring up and that I was touched by how much she loves me. And then our phone call was disconnected, thanks to that wonderful AT&T wireless network. Talk about divine intervention. I immediately called back and got her voice mail. I left a message for her to call, but haven’t heard from her since then. I’m not worried about this – we’ll be in touch with each other in the next few days, and I’m sure she will honor her word and not mention this again.
I’ve chosen where to place my faith for a cure – that is in the tireless work being done in laboratories and clinical trials and doctors’ offices. I don’t want to believe something as serendipitous as encountering this healer would permit me to be cured, while leaving others much more in need to continue to struggle. A cure for one of us is not enough; a cure for everyone is what is needed.