I received a copy of a letter from a woman who experienced the healing touch of the body of Christ. For seven years she ministered to her husband, a well known church musician afflicted with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He died, and on the first anniversary of his death, the widow sent out a letter of gratitude to her many friends at church. It read, in part:
Ever since the first symptoms of ALS appeared, you have surrounded us with love and support. You have cheered us with innumerable notes and letter and cards.
You visited and phoned, often from faraway places….You brought marvelous food. You ran errands for us and repaired our broken things while yours waited. You shoveled our walks, brought our mail, dumped our trash. And you brought gifts of love to brighten our hours.
You “doctored”….and even repaired a tooth right here in our home. You did ingenious things that made life easier for both of us, like the “coughing jacked” and signal switch that Norm was able to use until the last few days of his life. You shared Scripture verses with us and some of you made it your ministry to pray for those who came to our home regularly to give respiratory treatments. You made him feel like he was still a vital part of the music ministry.
And how you prayed!!!! Day after day, month after month, even year after year! Those prayers buoyed us up, lifted us through particularly hard places, gave us strength that would have been humanly impossible to have, and helped us to reach out on our own for God’s resources. Someday we’ll understand why Norm’s perfect healing did not take place here. But we do know that he was with us much longer and in much better condition than is the norm for an ALS victim. Love is not a strong word enough word to tell you how we feel about you!
This widow’s fellow church members had became the presence of God for her. Because of their loving concern, she was not tormented by doubts over whether God loved her. She could sense his love in the human touch of Christ’s body, her local church.