They scurried about the surrounding countryMark 6:55-56
and began to bring in the sick on mats
to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed
Lying in bed one night, I began feeling excruciating pains in my gut. Actually, I first noticed these at breakfast that morning, but ignored them, thinking they would go away, and they did. This night however, the pains returned with a vengeance convincing me that I had better seek some help. I woke up my brother and asked him to take me to the emergency room at the local hospital. By the time we were entering the hospital, I was passing out and the only thing I remember is giving the receptionist my medical insurance ID’s. The next thing I remember is being wheeled into the operating room, luckily being pushed by a fellow parishioner who comforted me, assuring me that all would be okay. She was right, but it took a couple of months before her prophesy came true. In the operating room, the surgeon removed my burst appendix, and it would take the next eleven days in the hospital before I could actually eat again on my own. In those eleven days, I lost twenty or thirty pounds and could barely walk by the time they released me from the hospital. That was forty some years ago.
All this goes to say, I was blessed with many great healers that day and the following weeks, beginning with my brother who helped me get to the hospital, my fellow parishioner who pushed me into the operating room, and many more good friends who visited me in the hospital, prayed with me, blessed me, and walked with me on my healing journey.
Thank you, God, for the healers you send into our lives, especially in this time of COVID-19 and help me be a healer to all those I come into contact with today, especially those who are in critical need and will probably inconvenience me asking for a hand, for some of my time and prayers.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.