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A few months back I shared the real-life testimony of my friend. His steps to healing is a fulfillment of God’s promise – ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and EVERYTHING else will be given unto you’.
While pondering on what topic to write this time, it occurred to me, why not share my own family’s steps to healing and dramatic change in our Faith life.
Does God work miracles? How does he guide our steps to healing and full recovery?
Steps to Healing: The First Step – Existence of a Problem
The 1980s. I was schooling. My family consisted of mum & dad, an older brother and a younger sister. Everything was coasting along fine like any other family.
But one day my brother started a fever. We were not too concerned about it because it’s quite normal to fall sick once in a way. As usual, Dad took my brother to the doctor, who prescribed the usual medicines.
We thought the fever would go away in a few days. But it didn’t. It lingered on for a week so we went back to the doctor.
He prescribed a few tests to rule out the usual suspects like malaria, typhoid, or any bacterial infection, but all tests were negative. We didn’t know what was happening.
Meanwhile few weeks passed by with the fever remaining constantly between 100 F and 101 F. By this time my dad started plotting my brother’s temperature readings on a chart. It was like an almost straight line. Continuous and unbroken fever.
We went back to the doctor regularly, who prescribed newer and different tests, but the results were consistently negative. Even the doctor was baffled.
Steps to Healing: The Second Step – The Problem Doesn’t Go Away
I think by this time a few months passed by; dad continued with the temperature readings. The doctor started the next level of tests – for terminal or serious diseases.
Tuberculosis, AIDS, few cancer tests probably, if I remember correctly. But all turned up negative. Some tests were invasive, like taking out 99 small pieces of skin from my brother’s back in a matrix pattern in order to test for allergies.
But no progress or steps to healing. It was a medical dead end. This is where God steps in. He makes a way where there is absolutely no way.
Steps to Healing: The Third Step – There Seems To Be No Way
Mum and dad were always praying for healing but now the urgency and desperation of the prayers increased exponentially. They realised that only a miracle could heal my brother.
The search for a miracle healing opened them up to the charismatic form of prayers, which we shunned, even ridiculed until now. God has a way of bringing us around.
In the meantime, the visits to doctors and hospitals continued. Blood, urine and other samples were now sent to major labs in other cities. Still, no one could diagnose what was causing nonstop fever. By now it was more than a year.
The sickness took a toll on my brother. He was mostly confined to the bed for the past year, only left the house for visits to doctors and hospitals and ate a restricted diet.
I vividly remember my brother asking my parents (he was a teenager), why is God doing this to him alone? Today, it doesn’t seem like a big question now, but at that time, on that occasion, his question crushed our hearts.
In search of a miracle healing, mum got more involved with the charismatic movement and consequently met new people, whom we would never have met, if not for this situation.
Steps to Healing: The Fourth Step – God Makes a Way
Someone suggested to go to Divine Retreat Centre, also known as Potta, in Chalakudy, Kerala. By this time, mum was ready to take my brother to any corner of the earth, just for a healing.
And, around the same time, for the first time we noticed by brother limping when walking as well as trying to avoid any contact with the left side of his body. This was the first visible symptom after more than a year.
My parents took my brother to the doctor again specifically to show his limp and odd behaviour. I don’t remember what the doctor exactly said or did but in the end, nothing came out of it.
My brother was now clearly in pain around his left hip. But doctors failed to diagnose. It was as if all the doctors we went to, specialists and experts in their fields, were totally devoid of their diagnostic skills.
As a last ditch effort, mum took my brother to Potta, for a week’s live-in retreat. Mum believed in her heart that she was finally climbing the steps to healing.
Steps to Healing: The Fifth Step – Walking on God’s Way
Potta was a 1000 kilometres away from the city we were residing in. The train journey was long and painful for my brother. But he was always smiling and didn’t complain.
The last leg of the journey was especially difficult, what with the bus crammed with passengers and making physical contact with my brother’s paining body. Finally, they reached Potta after 28 hours. Dad, my younger sister and I didn’t go because school was on.
Day 1 of the retreat, mum phoned home to share the happenings of the day. Nothing extraordinary occurred. Mum was excited about her first retreat at Potta.
Day 2 of the retreat, mum called again. Dad spoke to her and it was a normal conversation. Nothing exciting but hope was abounding.
Day 3 of the retreat, back at home, dad went for evening Mass at our parish. After Mass, a friend of his enquired about us in general. Dad shared the year-long story of my brother’s mysterious illness with him and how the search for healing moved from medical to Divine.
Now, dad used to meet this friend often at Church but never shared this story with him. On that particular day Dad felt free to share.
Steps to Healing: The Sixth Step – The Pre-Miracle
Without batting an eyelid dad’s friend told him to take my brother to a Dr. Loy. At that time we didn’t know Dr. Loy. Dad just noted the name and came home.He probably would have considered Dr. Loy just another doctor in the long list of doctors we visited in the past year.
That same night, day 3 of the retreat, when mum called us, she was very excited and was in a terrible rush to give dad some exciting news. Little did my family know that we were about to witness God’s miraculous steps to healing of my brother.
Over the phone, mum told dad that in between sessions on Day 3, a stranger walked up to her and asked what was wrong with my brother. Mum gave him a short explanation. He then asked mum from which city was she. Mum told him the name of our city.
Steps to Healing: The Seventh Step – The Miracle
The stranger immediately told my mum to take my brother to Dr. Loy. And he just disappeared into the crowd. Later mum told us that she never saw that stranger again during the remainder of the retreat.
Two different people, in two places, 1000 kilometers apart and unknown to each other, one a friend and the other a total stranger, both tell my parents exactly the same thing – go to Dr. Loy.
That night on the phone call there was a total shock, at first, but slowly over the next few minutes mum realized that this was God’s miracle, waiting to happen. She just clung on to the words of the stranger, waiting to come back home after the retreat.
Steps to Healing: The Eighth Step – The Aftermath of The Miracle
By the end of the week, mum and my brother returned home and in the meantime, dad booked an appointment with Dr. Loy. After a few days, they took my brother to him.
They knock on the door and the doctor asks them to enter. They open the door and walk in and for the ‘first’ time see Dr. Loy.
But was it the first time they were seeing him? No. Another surprise awaited them. The man called Dr. Loy was actually a fellow parishioner who sat on the same bench as our family on numerous Sunday Masses over the years. In fact, his father-in-law was a very close friend of my dad. Yet we never got acquainted to Dr. Loy. Worse, we didn’t even know that he was a doctor.
If you thought the miracles were over, you are mistaken. We yet had to climb many more steps to healing.
Steps to Healing: The Ninth Step – The Physical Healing
Dr. Loy asked a few questions and then went on to physically examine my brother’s painful left hip. Just one touch of the hip and Dr. Loy said we need to operate immediately. My parents were taken aback.
The doctor made a small incision over the paining part and gently began to squeeze some thick liquid from inside the body, out through the incision. When it was over, Dr. Loy placed a half-filled glass on the table, in front of my parents. The liquid was a highly septic puss.
Dr. Loy unabashedly said this puss was the cause of my brother’s year-long unbroken streak of high fever. After removal of all the puss, the cavity inside was large enough for the doctor to stuff in half a roll of bandage, to absorb any remnants of puss.
What no specialist, high-tech lab or advanced diagnostics could detect over a period of one year, Dr. Loy did within a few minutes, with a simple touch of his hand. God’s miracle, without a doubt.
That day, truly began my brother’s final and successful steps to healing. After a few weeks the fever disappeared. The physical wound gradually healed and in 6 months time all medications were stopped.
My brother was completely healed, after more than 18 months of illness. Nearly 30 years have passed by since this episode;he is physically hale and hearty, by God’s grace.
Steps to Healing: The Tenth Step – The Spiritual Healing
I think the greatest blessing through this experience was our family’s conversion from being ‘Sunday Catholics’ to a family whose faith was based on a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus is truly alive and active, not a distant God.
For us God was no more relegated to a high pedestal, to be worshipped only on Sundays at Mass. But He is one who controls every breath we take.
My brother’s experience totally changed our perspective of faith and worship. And catapulted us into an entirely different Christian life. Challenges come and go but we are happy.
We still remember this miracle three decades later and praise and thank God. It’s so very important to be grateful and thankful to God. And most importantly, behind the 10 steps to healing of the body, the best fruit was the spiritual healing.
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