A woman spends nights atop the concrete bench on our church patio sometimes, covered by a blanket and attended by a suitcase that holds all her possessions. She’s frequently in worship, and both our pastoral and our administrative staff have worked with her to find a housing solution, without success. We’ve run up against our limits in helping someone for whom housing is only one of a host of difficulties she’s battling.
This morning she’s in my local Starbucks. I greet her from the queue as she heads for the restroom, then, after I’m seated with my Christmas Blend, she stops by my table on her way out. She notices the eczema flaring up on my wrists and arms and asks about it. Self-conscious, embarrassed, I explain that I’ve dealt with it my whole life and that it gets worse in the winter. It’s no big deal.
Except that it is. Over the past three weeks I’ve spent who-knows-how-much on creams and lotions to calm this latest flare up. After writing this post I plan to check on refills for my steroid cream. It’s maddening. I’m losing sleep over it.
She offers to pray for me. I gladly thank her and turn back to my screen.
“Now,” she says, and without another word, she’s kneeling by my side and covers my wrists with her hands and praying for God to heal my eczema.
No one has ever done that for me before. Heck, I’ve never prayed about my eczema before.
I thank her as earnestly as I can as she heads for the door. Then she unexpectedly returns to my table to implore me to tell her what happens with my eczema. “You know what’s going to happen,” she says.
I don’t know how to share with her my hunch that a healing thing has already happened.