My thoughts go back almost 35 years – to a time with a vertebrae smashed with a compression fracture, a brace that I wore constantly, and a 10 pound lifting limit. Fundamentally, the back part of the vertebrae had been converted to bone mush, and I was fortunate in having trained people calmly get me strapped to the backboard and hauled out.
After that, the medical part was just living in the brace, walking in my one pair of slip-on shoes, and doing nothing. As Fall moved into winter, I was visited by two old friends – Winton and Hallie Weydemeyer. I had known for years that Hallie was a Christian Scientist – but I had never expected to have Hallie show up to use the power of prayer to heal me.
With snow covering the ground, Renata abandoned me (after hiding my shoes) to Hallie’s prayers. Winton threw in a few (kind of like a relief pitcher) whenever Hallie would run down, and then she would return with new vigor to pray me better.
I don’t know whether the prayer was effective or not – the initial x-rays show a vertebrae that slopes down at about a 45 degree angle – not safe in any sort of a fall or strain. A future surgery to fuse things to better protect the spinal cord was a strong option. The post-prayer x-rays show a shorter vertebrae, still sloping, but at probably 5 or 6 degrees. It could be that the bone, turned into mush by the impact, just reformed as best it could as I spent the months of recovery in a brace, 24-7. It could be that Hallie and Winton got the divine intervention they requested.
And when people come to heal you with several hours of tag-team prayers, you really do have to be polite. After all, I don’t have any evidence that it hurts recovery.