My experience showed me that…human experience continues beyond the grave...under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each of us.
- Eben Alexander, neurosurgeon and author
A physician suggested recently that I see an acupuncturist for foot pain that does not respond to medication. Acupuncturists and chiropractors were once looked at as quacks rather than healers, but that has changed quite a bit, as both are now accepted as a natural way of assisting the body in healing itself.
On my first visit, the therapist and I spoke about our professions and how, in many ways they are similar. Eastern medicine looks at the whole person: body, soul, mind and spirit, knowing that they are all connected. In hospice nursing, you quickly come to the same understanding, knowing full well that the soul moves on easily to its eternal home when all the individual parts that make up a person’s life are at peace. We, of course, shared some stories; here is one she told me.
A young man, in his early thirties, was dying of cancer and visited her office one day. He had many symptoms related to his end-stage disease and appeared to be seeking some relief. We do not always clearly understand what the person is looking for but we begin where they lead us through conversation.
While the doctor placed tiny acupuncture pins on his body, she found herself praying for him. When she turned her head, she could see, in her mind's eye, Jesus sitting on the sofa nearby. Tell him I am here, she heard plainly. No way, she said to herself. A second time she heard him say it: Tell him I am here. As she struggled to believe what was happening, Jesus stood up, walked over to the table and, placing his hands on top of hers, said, Tell him I am here now. This time she obeyed without a doubt in her mind. “Jesus is here with you now,” she said, “and he wants me to tell you.”
The man jumped off the table, saying over and over again, "He is here with me now, he is here with me now." He was as overjoyed as anyone she had ever seen. "I have been praying hard for so long that he would let me know clearly that he is walking with me through all of this, and now he has.” He left the office that day with the happy heart that only Jesus can give.
If the acupuncturist had refused to tell her client what she heard, he would have missed out on the very blessing he had been looking for and the one Jesus had in mind for him. It behooves us all to listen carefully to that small voice inside of us which is God’s Holy Spirit. When Jesus tells us he is always with us, he means always. We need to take his word for it.