The Spa Man visits our church every now and then, depending on how many Baptisms we have at church. He drops off the spa we use for our Baptisms in the former factory building we call church. Apparently he does quite a few churches. The spa comes with no heater or bubbles, but that suits us. We use the water from our own tap and it is always a good week when we know we have a Baptism coming up.
Last week the Spa Man picked up the spa on Tuesday as he normally does but this time it was different. He wanted to chat, at length. I don’t wear a collar or robe, but he knows I am the minister. Turns out Spa Man has cancer, and not the type which is dealt with quickly and dispatched. I ask him how old he is and its obvious he has lived life to the full. He has grandchildren and wants to see them grow up and get married and be a part of the next season of their life. This may not happen.
So I listen and ask questions, and don’t offer up solutions. Spa man wants to chat to this Pastor who he probably sees two or three times a year. There is anger there, frustration at misdiagnosis but mostly a overwhelming sense that there is not much he can do in this situation. Apart from seeing doctors who have disappointed him. It is a precious time, and not what I expected to be doing on a Tuesday afternoon.
Finally I speak up and ask Spa Man if I can pray for him. He says yes of course and keeps talking. I ask permission to interrupt and say, actually Spa Man I want to pray for you right now, is that okay. He mumbles yes and I place my hand on his shoulder. I spend a few precious moments asking for the Holy Spirit to heal him. For the doctors to have wisdom. For him to have years ahead of joy, peace and strength with his grandchildren.
Is he healed, is he okay. What has happened. I look forward to our next baptism to ask the question.