It's all about healing
Last updated 9/20/2007 at Noon
Toothless, with a broken jaw, Gilbert stood before me. Twice a year we visited when he was either coming or going to work as a migrant worker in central California. Sometimes he’d stop by when he needed a jacket or something to eat, but one thing was for sure: his stop always included prayer with one of our pastors where I work as a church secretary.
If you looked past the scruffy unkempt hair into those incredible chocolate eyes you could see him as a boy. Strong with squared shoulders. It always made me wonder what had brought him to this place of wandering and homelessness.
“Hi, Gilbert, are you coming or going this time?” I asked.
“Going to Arizona to see my seven daughters.” His smile brightened at the thought.
“Hungry?” I asked.
“Yeah, I could eat, but look.” He tilted his head backward, exposing an egg-size bump on his jaw.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Some drunk went wild with a 2x4 at a truck-stop in Barstow. Lost five teeth on that side. It has to be soup.”
I plopped some chicken noodle into a clear glass bowl and heated the contents.
“My wife died, you know, back in ’89.” Sorrow overcame him as tears welled up in his soft brown eyes, his shoulders slumped under the enormous weight of such a loss. He pulled at the lapels of his ragged tweed jacket, trying to compose himself nervously.
“I’m so sorry, Gilbert.” I had heard this news twice a year for the past eight years he drifted into our office, yet it impacted him strongly each time he told me.
“I got this in Arizona after I lost her.” I took the well-worn, pocket-size Bible from his hand.
“Which is your favorite book?” I asked as I flipped through the ruffled pages.
“James. It’s all about healing.”
Early the next morning, “It’s all about healing” resounded in my head as reality broke through my sleep. I thumbed through my Bible to James 5:14-16: “Any one of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him. The prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will raise him up again; and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured. The heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.”
Gilbert was right – it is all about healing.
Some of us suffer from a broken past, some through loss, illness, depression and addictions. In Fallbrook we are blessed with many venues for healing. St. John’s has a Healing service at 10 a.m. every Thursday; at 7 p.m. on Fridays, The Waters offers “Celebrate Recovery,” and Christ the King has a 12-Step Outreach.
There are also the Healing Rooms of Fallbrook (at 124 West Beech Street), which are open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for anyone to be prayed over.
And next week there is a very special healing Mass at St. Peter’s on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. with Fr. Pat Crowley. All are welcome.
Trust in the Lord – With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)