I stood in a hospital ward on Friday night and listened to my 76-year-old father give his medical history to a junior doctor at Prince of Wales Hospital.
This was after he had explained, slowly and deliberately, to the young doctor, that he was a man of faith, had been a minister most of his life and believed in the healing power of Jesus.
His medical history began with having his tonsils out when he was a boy. (I thought, “We could be here for a long time…” I was wrong.) He had them out twice in fact – they either grew back or they didn’t get them all the first time.
Also as a boy, he had an abscess behind his knee. He thought for a while and then recounted his next item – a hernia operation in his sixties. As an after thought he remembered dislocating his elbow.
“Dad”, I said incredulously, “that was when I was about seven – over 40 years ago… and I can’t believe you can remember an abscess on your leg as boy.”
The doctor asked if there was anything else, and there wasn’t. Not bad for someone a few years short of 80.
Then the doctor asked what medications he took. This list was even shorter. “A vitamin C tablet, a vitamin E tablet and a fish oil tablet.”
The doctors stared, wrote something down, and nodded. “That’s very good. You are very healthy.”
Dad, by way of explanation, told him that he didn’t drink or smoke although he had drunk heavily until he became a Christian aged 32, when “God and I agreed I’d done my fair share of drinking.” He has not touched alcohol since.
Tomorrow my father will have a very delicate operation to strengthen a vertebrae in his neck largely destroyed by a tumour. Once they strengthen his neck, they’ll worry about the tumour. He has spent his time in hospital while waiting for the operation reading the Bible, a book called Faith Like Potatoes, and praying.
When doctors first saw the size of the tumour, its location and the damage it had caused, they could not believe the lack of pain and other symptoms dad had been experiencing. They felt certain he should have had a range of neurological symptoms but all he has had is a bit of stiff neck.
Dad has said several times that God has told him he will be healed. Who could argue with a man who is already a walking miracle? Please pray for him tomorrow. PH