What makes me feel strong?
18 years ago, I learned I had colon cancer. I felt stronger knowing that others were thinking of me and praying for my complete recovery and wholeness from this disease. Even when I was too sick to meditate or pray, I could feel the warmth of their loving thoughts wash over me. I was introduced to an Episcopal priest named Rufus Womble who changed the way I prayed for my own recovery and reshaped my spiritual practices for life! I am so grateful for the time I spent with him, and the lessons he shared with me.
He taught me a one-sentence prayer that became my mantra during my six months of chemotherapy following my surgery to remove the golf ball sized tumor. He said to pray this prayer: “Thank you God for your healing love at work within me.” Then he encouraged me to use what he referred to as “the prayer of visualization.”
Rufus came and sat with me during one of my chemo treatments. He asked me to close my eyes and visualize God using something within my body working to remove all the cancer cells that might still be in my body. I chose to use a scrub brush, as I wanted every bad cell removed from me like a stubborn stain on my kitchen counter. During the two hours that this yellow liquid dripped through my veins, I imagined being scrubbed clean from all of the cancerous cells. I also kept saying, “Thank you God for your healing love at work within me!” This simple prayer along with my vision of God using a scrub brush to remove the cancer cells was a way for me to feel strong during those 6 months. Instead of being afraid during chemotherapy, I was glad to see the medicine doing its work.
Twelve months later I had my first colonoscopy after the chemotherapy. My gastroenterologist said the strangest thing to me after the procedure. She told me, “You have the strangest spot in your colon. It looks like a scrub brush has smoothed out a spot in there. “ I had goose bumps as I asked her to repeat what she just said. She said, “It’s like someone took a scrub brush and rubbed you clean in this one spot.” My husband and I looked at each other knowing the prayer that I had prayed and both smiled at her. When we told her about my prayers of visualization of the scrub brush, she then showed us the picture she had saved of this spot. It truly did look like it had been scrubbed smooth compared to the nearby areas. Some may say this was coincidental or scar tissue. I even asked her if it could be scar tissue. She was quite certain it was not.
What makes me feel strong? Remembering to pray a one-sentence prayer thanking God for the healing love at work within me! Visualizing God at work within me with a scrub brush ready to remove all the cancer cells in my body! I am grateful to know that when I am weak, there is love at work within in me! I am thankful for knowing that when I am unable to pray, others do!