Oral surgery done, so back to the story! 😛
Harper turned around slowly almost feeling like she had been caught stealing from her own shop. “You’re lucky this pacifist didn’t tackle you as an intruder!” He laughed. “I’m surprised to see you here tonight.”
“It’s a long story . . . well, not that long, but I came to check up on you. I was late and didn’t want to disturb you.”
“You wouldn’t have disturbed us, but I’m glad to see you up and around. I’m shocked really. Do you want to go get some coffee and talk?”
“Actually, I ate almost nothing all day and am starving, so I’d love to go get something like a sandwich or power bowl, but I’ll skip the caffeine.”
“Great. Folks are just wrapping up conversations, so I’ll meet you by your car when I get the place locked up.
Instead of driving, they decided to walk the block to a night spot called The Brewery. Neither Blaise nor Harper drank, but they had heard they served some good food, so they decided to try it out. It was noisy with music and conversation, so they asked for a booth in the restaurant section as far as possible from the bar where the live music blared. The band was actually pretty good, playing some oldie rockers and some blues, but the decibel level was uncomfortable. They slipped into a booth, which had tall wooden backs to the benches. It wasn’t much of a sound barrier, but they convinced themselves it would help; and besides, they were hungry enough not to care.
“You realize we do a lot of eating when we’re together.” She smiled and ripped off a corner of the loaf of hot Russian rye bread.
“Funny, I was thinking the same thing. I’m not sure what that says about us, though. I am so happy you’re up and around. You didn’t look good at the house.”
“I will not take that as an insult.”
“No, I mean . . .”
Harper smiled and raised her hand to interrupt his apology. “I’m sure I did look a mess . . . and felt it, too. Did I fall asleep, because I didn’t even hear you leave?”
“After, I prayed and anointed you, I never saw you open your eyes. I waited for a few minutes, but you seemed calm and resting . . . and still alive! So I slipped out.”
“To be honest, it didn’t seem that long after you prayed that I opened my eyes. I woke as if from a sweet dream; but what was really weird . . . well, weird, yet wonderful . . . I think, I mean I know I received a healing.”
“Really? Are you kidding? That’s awesome!” Blaise looked genuinely elated and surprised, which in turn surprised Harper.
“Why are you surprised? Isn’t that what you prayed for?”
“Well, of course, but it’s not a formula, and I never tire of seeing God intervene. I act out of obedience, and I hope and pray that intervention will come, especially for someone I care about whose need is so great; but it’s always like Christmas morning when eternity breaks through! So, tell me. What happened?” Blaise leaned in on the edge of his seat as Harper recounted the event, moment by moment. In the retelling, she misted up, in awe of what she had literally felt in her body.
“And then, I jumped up and got ready to check out the meeting. I mean, I feel better now than I have for a while. So often, I am fighting a baseline headache. I guess I’ve just gotten used to living that way. But when the migraines hit, well, it’s knock down drag out time. But it’s gone, and I feel clear, if that makes any sense. Light. But hungry!” She smiled.
“I am so happy for you. That’s incredible!”
“Again, you seem as surprised as I am, and you are the guy packin’ the vial of oil. No offence, but is it a lack of faith if you don’t even expect what you pray for?”
Blaise laughed out loud. It was during a sudden break in the music, so a few eyes turned toward them and Harper blushed, but then the din resumed. “Harper, if I had the magic formula—the right words, the right oil, the right method—I would empty every hospital, nursing home, and rehab center in the state. I pray because Christ commands it. I pray out of love for the person in need and for my Savior who compels me, and I pray with a genuine hope that the hurting one will have what they need the most; but . . . I do not dictate to God what and how He must do His business because I don’t assume I know what is best for each individual.”
“That sounds good, but doesn’t that open Christians up to criticism from unbelievers—that we attest our prayers are good whether they work or not?”
“If I make assumptions about what God thinks is best, what works or not, I place myself in the circumstance as a god, and I’m certainly not that. Just in case you were wondering.” He smiled and grabbed a bite of his sandwich.
“Nah, I had that part figured out.”
Blaise continued, “I feel no pressure to ensure a particular outcome, and I don’t think that is a cop out. There are some evangelists on TV who make people think they have it all down pat—got it all figured out. If someone isn’t healed or doesn’t get an answer for a problem they have, they either blame the person’s lack of faith or some other human failing so that their reputation as Wonderman, or Woman, stays intact. Or some even gin up the emotions to fake an event. I do not have things down pat. As much as is in me, I try to seek God, follow His lead, and leave all the results to Him. It’s more complex than a formula. That’s why when I see God truly work, I can rejoice because it is His work, and He should get all the credit and glory for it. So, the fact God met you and healed you, well, if I had any socks on in my sandals, they would be knocked off!”