She contemplated ignoring the text, but decided against it. She voice-texted back: “Recovering from migraine, but okay.”
Blaise texted, “May I come in and pray for you?”
Harper thought for a minute. She decided that friendship trumped disheveled, as well as any conflicted emotions she might be working through. She pulled her long, white messy hair out of its tie and pulled it around her face, hoping in some way it might hide her bleary state. She texted back: “The emergency key is under the third rock to the left of the big green pot with the dead rose bush.”
Blaise opened the door softly and made his way in the darkened room to her chair. “I’m so sorry you are hurting. Can I fix you something to eat?”
“No, I’ve had a little bit, and that’s enough for now. I won’t be able to come tonight to your gathering, though. Tia is watching the shop this afternoon, but she’ll probably leave early, so why don’t you just take the spare shop key to open up.”
“Are you sure? We can cancel and go back to the coffee shop tonight.” Blaise pulled up a chair and sat close.
“No, no, the room is ready, and I trust you with the shop, so . . . just go ahead. The key is in that drawer over there to the right of the stove. It’s only for the front door, so you will need to go in that way—and you know how stinky that deadbolt is. You can unlock the lock on the back door where people will enter, but I have no key for the outside of that lock, so don’t lock yourself out. I lost it somewhere along the line and just never got the stupid thing rekeyed.” Harper winced with the exertion of talking.
“Do I have to take notes?” He smiled as he pulled out his phone and typed in a few memos.
“Maybe. Hmm, if you’re going to have coffee, you know where the machine is, and the coffee is in the cabinet below. Not sure if there’s anything else you need to know. Bring your own muffins.” Harper tried to smile but paused and took a deep breath instead. The worst of the migraine had subsided, but still the effort of thinking this hard hurt. “Oh, and you will want to have people go out together. The parking lot in the back is pretty dark after sunset. I’ve complained for years to the association, but nothing has been done. I think with the meetings, it will be wise to get a light with a motion detector at some point.”
“That’s a good idea. I’ll put it on my to-do list. Anything else?”
“No idea. If anything else comes up, just wing it.” She closed her eyes for a moment.
“I’m sorry you’re in pain. Can I pray for you?”
“Yes, of course.” Blaise pulled a small vial out of his jeans’ pocket and opened the top. “What’s that?”
“Anointing oil. Is that okay?”
“I guess . . . but do you always carry it around in your pocket?”
“Yup, I’m always packin’.” Blaise smiled and put a couple of drops on his finger. He paused a moment, eyes closed, then began: “My Father, both Creator and Healer, I ask You to touch the body of my sister Harper. Would You meet her in this moment, knowing all the inner workings of her body and mind, and restore health and wholeness to her. Out of Your love and deep compassion, meet us, Lord, I pray. Then he marked the sign of the cross on Harper’s forehead. “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Harper remained quiet, eyes closed, for what seemed like a second, but when she opened her eyes, the house key was on the table, and Blaise was gone. She had to wonder if she had fallen asleep. But all of a sudden, something touched the top of her head. She closed her eyes again, and honey warmth flowed over her, soft and sweet, head to toe, outside to inside. She wasn’t sure what was happening, but she was overwhelmed with a presence. As the warmth flowed over her body, the pain in her head and the malaise in her body dissolved into nothing. She had never experienced anything like it in her life, but she knew it was not natural. She breathed a “thank you” as tears fell.