A Mother’s Prayers
Miraculously all abnormalities had disappeared. What welcomed news the doctors had presented my mother, Dorothy, on that cold winter’s day in 1945. No, it was not the first time she had heard this news. For past occasions were too numerous to count when she and her prayer band of girl friends had gone down on their knees to ask the Lord to spare her second child, nicknamed Snooky, from a serious illness. Me!
Yes, you guessed it. This is another blog on how God miraculously healed me when I was a child and his grace and mercy was retold to me later in life by my praying and devoted mother. During my 70+ years of life, I can truthfully say that God has always pitied my family and answered the prayers of my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
I believe I initially inherited my weak genes from my paternal Grandmother Novella. She too, was a sickly child at birth. Often, when I was a teenager, she would sit me down to retell her own stories of how the Good Lord had healed her of a debilitating sickness.
I will forever remember the story she told me in the summer of 1955. That year I was an inquisitive sixteen-year-old woman-child. My mind told me to do the unthinkable; question grandmother about her physical appearance. So, somehow I mustered up enough courage to ask, “Grandmother, why do you have one big leg and one little leg?”
Now you’ve done it, Snooky! You’ve struck a nerve!
Granny and I had just started to prepare dinner in the kitchen when surprisingly, grandmother took two giant steps towards me, threshed out her broad right hand and caught me under my left armpit. Sternly, she marched me pass the cooking stove and into the parlor. My feet were hardly touching the ground. There she plopped me down on the ruby-red settee and proceeded to wipe her hands on her floral apron.
As she stared at me with probing eyes, I noticed they were beginning to fill with tears. Trembling, I sat stiffly on the edge of the sofa seat with my head humbly bowed, knowing that no one came into grandmother’s precious parlor uninvited. Oh, how I wished I could have retracted my imposing question, which seemed to conjure up such vivid and emotional images for grandmother.
Grandmother had composed herself and she was more relaxed.
As grandmother paced back and forth, biding her time, ringing her hands, composing her thoughts she abruptly turned towards me with this admonishment: “So you want to know why I have ‘one big leg and one little leg,’ do you?” Well, young lady, you just sit right there and listen. But by now, her tone of voice was cracking and much softer and somehow filled with more empathy.
My body began to relax. I could tell by grandmother’s monologue that in spite of everything else, I was in for a real treat. She was about to tell me one of her childhood secrets; things she had not even shared with her own seven kids; and I would be the first among her twenty-three grandchildren who would be privileged to know. Grandmother Novella began her tale like this:
Spoken in Grandmother’s broken dialect.
My muther who was your great grandmuther, whom everybody called Big Momma Laura, had a difficult pregnancy when she carried me. Furthermore, she experienced complications at my birth because when born, my right leg was drawn back and locked at my buttocks. The mid wife could not get it to come down, so she left it ‘lone. At the age of five I learned to use crutches. Until then, I crawled everywhere I went.
Since I could not run and play like the rest of the choorun’ broke Big Momma Laura’s heart. So one day, out of desperation, Big Momma summoned all the neighborhood church sistahs to our house for a special prayer meetin’. Someone suggested they take me out back behind the house. There they placed me underneath a number two wash tub. The church sistahs circled the tub and began to sing and chant their praises to the Lord. They feverishly cried out to God for about thirty minutes. Now all the while, I was curled up under the tub. I remember experiencing a heat build-up under there.
Finally, the chanting stopped and someone lifted the tub. To my surprise, I saw uninvited peoples from the neighborhood lurking behind trees and bushes. Also their curious chooruns were laughing and taunting us. We all just ignored them.
Big Momma helped me to stand on my one good leg. Another lady took hold of my bent up leg and attempted to lower it to the ground. My leg joints cracked and popped, but finally that ole stubborn leg came down. Someone slipped my crutches under my arms and I began to hobble around the backyard while using both feet.
All of the church folks broke out shouting and dancing. The younger women lifted their long skirts ever-so-lightly, moving their feet to a syncopated rhythm of hand clapping which was provided by the older women.
The choorun’ danced in circles around us in groups of threes and fours imitating the vocal praises of their peers. I threw my head back and witnessed the clouds playing tag with one another. My ears recorded the whistling of the trees and the chirping of the birds. The entire backyard burst into an atmosphere of holy ecstasy.
At the conclusion of Grandmother Novella’s story she was on her knees beside me at the edge of the settee. We were both crying. But I remember grandmother laughing between her tears as she said; “Even though I grew up with one big leg and one little leg, I still managed to get the most handsome boy in the neighborhood to marry me.”
A great awaking: Knowing God as a healer for myself!
I will never forget that day when grandmother shared that miraculous healing story with me because it literally changed my life. You will recall in the beginning of this story, I said I was a sickly child. Well, one of my adolescence illnesses was I suffered with severe migraine headaches. One evening, about three weeks after my experience with granny, I was at my own house in bed with a bad migraine. As I lay there my thoughts were on her story. I had never in my life dared to converse with God for anything as special as did my Great Grandmother Laura. My mundane prayer life consisted of rapidly reciting the Lord’s Prayer at bedtime. But that night, I carefully slipped out of bed and onto my knees. I closed my eyes, folded my hands and began to pray…to earnestly pray.
Just when I began to retell granny’s story to the Lord with the intent to ask Him to heal me like He had blessed her Somebody turned on my bedroom light. Or so I thought! My eyes were still closed, but I could see a bright glow all around me. I stopped praying and remained very still. Somebody was definitely in my room and approaching me. The sensation felt like a warm beam moving closer and closer. Soon that ‘Somebody‘ passed over me and went out the door.
In amazement, I buried my face in my hands and wept uncontrollably. Soon I realized I was drenched in perspiration from my head to my toes. I stood up to examine myself and discovered that my head was no longer hurting. I shook my upper body violently from side to side. My migraine was gone! Jesus had healed me just like He did Grandmother Novella! And the best part was I had not even finished praying my prayer to Him. Hallelujah!!!
Oh, how I longed for a repeated jubilant performance of what took place over three generations ago. How my daddy’s mother, Grandmother Novella, Great Grandmother Laura and their friends had celebrated God’s goodness and mercy. How I ached to praise God in that frantic holy frenzy, representing a fourth generation of praise.
An example of crusaders praising God with uplifted hands.
Very seldom do Christians think about clicking their heels, twirling in circles or running in place when they praise the Lord. Yet, the Bible records numerous occasions where people as well as inanimate objects even worshipped Him. Trees clapped their hands; mountains skipped; hearts trembled; the Sons of God shouted; Enoch walked; the earth quaked; David sang and Mary Magdalene kissed Him. All of these recorded actions contributed joyful noises unto the Lord who heals you.
So why shouldn’t I? All I knew to do to demonstrate my joy was to search the biblical scriptures in a feeble effort to find just the right words to commune with Him. That night I rested in the audible reading of Psalms 66. Miraculously all abnormalities had disappeared. I vowed that night to forever continue to have Conversations With God Using Scripture.
Scripture Lesson: “Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing of his glorious name! Tell the world how wonderful he is. How awe-inspiring are your deeds, O God! How great your power! No wonder your enemies surrender! All the earth shall worship you and sing of your glories. Come see the glorious things God has done. What marvelous miracles happen to his people!” Psalm 66 1:1-5 Living Bible
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