The night air was crisp as I found myself running through a dark field on a fraternity house pledge adventure. I was enjoying some newly found freedom that college brings, as a freshman at Kansas State University. Then, “Whack!” I tripped over some wire and hit the ground. My hand and arm swelled up, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
My frat brothers thought I should go to the emergency room. The doctor on duty felt it was best not to perform any surgery on the hand until the swelling went down. So he placed a cast on my arm from the shoulder to the hand, and released me, expecting that I would return in a few days for treatment.
Interestingly, in addition to searching for a fraternity of friends, I had also been on a spiritual and religious search at the time, and had met a young woman at a church that I’d attended for the first time the previous week. I really liked her and decided to call her to tell her what happened. “Do you want to come by and talk?” she asked. “Sure,” I said.
We’d had a conversation before about the power of spirituality and prayer when it comes to challenges in life, including health problems. She’d mentioned the idea that mankind is made in the image of God. Not God as a person, but God as Spirit. We talked more about this idea that night, and I thought maybe I’d give this prayer thing a try.
Soon after, I felt the bones, cuts, and bruises begin to heal and knit together – so much so that within a few days I had cut the cast off and was going about my regular duties at the frat house, completely fine. There has never been any problem with my hand despite the doctor’s concern that the injury would require surgery. I don’t even remember which hand it was.
Many people today, including some medical professionals, are exploring a more holistic sense of health, one that incorporates factors of the entire person, where our type of thinking influences our quality of living. For instance, recently Dr. Mimi Guarneri, who founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, indicated in The Monterey County Herald that recognizing the connection between body, mind, and spirit enables you to transform stressful events. She said, “Meditation is medicine.”
What I witnessed with my hand was the beginning of a life transformation for me, leading me down a more spiritual path. Serendipitously, the young woman who helped me consider these ideas has now been my wife for over 40 years.
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