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Posted by on February 8, 2015

12 years ago I was dying by ounces.

On this second Sunday of February, 2003 I sat observing worship at West Side Nazarene Church.  I sat about eight or ten rows back in the center section at the end of the pew in case I needed to get out.  Nausea… cramps… bathroom…

I didn’t look disabled.  Everyone there was shocked whenever they’d get snippets of my story.  Then they’d get somber.  Then their faces would unsuccessfully try to hide their pity.  We all figured I was dying because the means of nutrition and rehydration and immunity from virus and disease – further disease for me had been surgically removed.  I was chronically anemic, unsteady on my feet and instead of singing I managed a raspy croak from the six or so NG tubes I’d had stuffed down my throat.  Have I told you about those nifty little engines of human torture?  Well–it’ll have to wait for another time.

They’d never known me as the robust, muscular 250-pounder I’d been.  So far as they knew, I’d always been the slim 170-pound guy with the raspy, hoarse voice.  Little did they know . . . 42-inch waist to a 32-inch waist?  6 feet tall to 5 feet, 10 inches?  Oh, yeah.  Do I have a diet plan for you!  It’ll definitely make you lose a lot of weight in a hurry.  You won’t survive it, but it WORKS.  Even with what I called Steak-In-A-Bag via IV every day, I was steadily losing weight, a few ounces at a time.  Scales don’t fib.

So I sat there, PICC line coiled under the right sleeve of my long-sleeved shirt because I could no longer have the Hickman catheters poked into my upper chest and down into my subclavian artery:  too much infection and the left side had permanently clotted off.  The PICC was a temporary measure.  As I said, everyone figured I was dying.  I’d pretty much accepted it myself.

I was so glad to just be able to sit, listen and enjoy the service.  An old saint had just done something I hadn’t seen much since a kid:  she stood and spoke for 4-5 minutes about how faithful God had been to her and how blessed she was.  Next was a song.  I’d always enjoyed music; it was part of my life and singing had always been my therapy.  I couldn’t do it, but I could sure appreciate those who could.

It was during that song that it happened.

“Do you want to be healed?”

Seated at the left end of the pew, I heard a voice speak softly in my left ear:  “Do you want to be healed?”  I was so surprised I simply answered, “Yes.”  That’s when I did the human thing.

I turned as quickly as my weird balance would allow and looked, even though I was seated right next to a wide aisle and knew there was no one there.  Well, no one I could see.

From that day, I began gaining weight – something every specialist with whom we’d consulted said was impossible.  It was only a few ounces at a time, but it was in the opposite direction:  up instead of down.

I could go on, but I’m in the process of writing a book with Brenda about this fabulous, unexpected story.

All I want to tell you now is that when the Bible says with God NOTHING is impossible?

You better believe it.

I am walking, talking, singing proof.

Thank You, Lord, that it wasn’t just that guy at the pool way back there who heard Your question.  I heard it, too–and I’ve never been the same.

© D. Dean Boone, February 8, 2015

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