It always amazes me the remedies that people use to try to cure their ailments. When I had the “shunt headaches” that wouldn’t budge, someone suggested that I put some pieces of raw potato on my forehead, (apparently it’s a sure-fire cure). Nothing else was working so I tried it, but alas it did no good which is a shame. A kilo of potatoes is so much cheaper than a kilo of painkillers.
After I eventually lost my eyesight and had gone through all of the subsequent procedures to fix the cause, a family friend came to me with a jar of Holy Water that she had gotten from her local church. She advised me to dab some on my eyes each night before going to sleep because this would help me to restore my sight. I did it for a while, (hey it was worth a try) and in the more than 6 years since, I have recovered some of my sight. But I am not sure what (if any) role the holy water played in this.
Perhaps the most bizarre “remedy” that has been suggested to me to improve my sight though, was to wear a scarf.
I was invited to a prayer meeting/healing session which started innocently enough. Music began and it was actually a hymn that I recognized thanks to many years in the school choir. But when the music stopped the congregation did not. They kept right on singing although now not everyone was singing the same song. In fact, some people weren’t singing real words at all. Come to think of it, the same thing happened at the end of the “Hail Mary” and the “Our Father” prayers too.
It appeared that somehow I had found myself at a Charismatic meeting. I had always thought charisma was meant to be endearing. I didn’t find this endearing, I found it weird. But we were just getting warmed up…
With the prayer portion of the evening over it was now time for some healing. The priest went through a few different types of ailments (i.e. heart condition, stomach complaints etc.) and anyone who suffered from that ailment was called forward. He placed his hand on the sufferers forehead, muttered something (again in the mystery language) and they fell backwards onto the floor. One woman even began to cry, although perhaps this is because she hurt herself when she fell.
Then people with vision impairments and/or blindness were called forward and the friend who had invited me tried to get me to go up. I love her dearly and respect her enormously but there was no way I was going anywhere near that altar. I have enough trouble staying upright as it is. I didn’t need someone to push me over thank you very much!
I could sense that she was a tad disappointed and I did feel a twinge of guilt. That was until I noticed her go up to the altar herself and whisper something to the priest. “Oh no” I thought, “She’s bringing him here”. It seemed that like it or not I was going to end up on the floor. I considered laying down then and there to cut out the middle man. But as I pondered this she came striding back toward me without him. Phew!
Then she handed me the scarf she had been wearing. I had seen her wear it often and I knew it was her favourite. She told me she had asked for it to be blessed and that she was giving it to me to keep me safe and healthy. I was touched.
I haven’t seen that particular friend in a few years, but I do still have that scarf. While I am not sure whether it is keeping me healthy, each time I look at it the scarf reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to have so many wonderful friends who care about me.