I was walking at Valley Park with my usual slight limp that has developed over the years (the pain in my hip is from my crooked spine and the usual aches of aging). As I strolled around the pond, I smiled and greeted an older gentleman passing by. We walked on, but then he suddenly stopped and called back, “Ma’am?” When I turned around, he raised his hand and proclaimed, “I bless you in the name of God that the demon causing your discomfort be removed from you.” I graciously thanked him and went on my way.

If I stopped here, this story would remain a tale of kindness from a stranger along my path.

But here’s the thing…

Even as I appreciated his concern, I resented his action. My judgmental spirit was annoyed that he interrupted me, that he presumed he could bless me without knowing me or my story. My indignant soul was irritated that he called the reason for my pain a “demon.” My inner skeptic was doubtful, because even as I know that prayer can be powerful, it seemed as if his prayer was more about his glory than my healing. After all, I know that my hip is physically impaired and will need more than prayer to remedy.

And here’s the next thing…

When I headed on down the path, my hip actually began to feel better.

And here’s the honest and ugly and (I hope) humorous thing…

I continued to limp. I didn’t want him to believe that his blessing somehow worked. I didn’t want to encourage his presumptuous behavior, nor did I want him to have a mistaken testimony.

And here’s the rest of the story…

As I continued to reflect on this incident, my thoughts moved from my hurting hip to my broken self. I sensed God revealing new and humbling insights. Was my relief simply from endorphins sparked by his blessing? Or could I remain pain free if I truly believed in his prayer? Did he have a genuine charism that guided his actions and insights? Was I too easily defensive? Should I open my heart and soul to healing and mystery more often? How much more could I have blessed him if I had admitted, “I think you may have helped”? How often do my pride and obstinance hinder me from receiving or blessing others?

Chastened, I continued around the soccer field and considered the variety of ways that healing can happen. Perhaps the blessing didn’t heal my hip, but it may have healed some of my prideful spirit. Perhaps I didn’t bring as much joy as I might have, but the gentleman may have been healed by my smile and words of gratitude. Perhaps his courage to proclaim the blessing fulfilled and healed a need of his own. Perhaps my skepticism had been healed by an invitation to greater mystery.

Perhaps more healing had taken place than I initially imagined.

That’s when I found this necklace, with a cross and a pendant that looks like the world. Hanging it on the fence post so someone may find it more easily, I thought to myself…

I don’t know how all of this works, but I do know that God is at work in all of this.

(Photo by Karen)


  1. I relate. I think when Jesus rubbed against people (healing and in talking), he often rubbed against their irritated side. Maybe he accomplished all of the above in one fell swoop? Sigh… I too often try to second guess Gods ways and who he uses.


    • Thank you for your company and insight, Gary. Oh yes, so true – Jesus did! I appreciate this reminder and the shared mystery.


  2. I know the necklace didn’t have any pearls, but poetic license, yeah?

    In an oyster a mere grain of sand
    will make its irritation whirl
    through emotions it can’t understand
    to make the light and lovely pearl
    that with others finds its place
    to fulfill one of the Lord’s intents,
    perhaps a necklace hung with grace
    for you to see upon a fence,
    that something which was hidden
    may now spring from your words;
    a knowing become wisdom
    to point your reader towards
    that bright flash of clarity,
    the love of prideful vanity.


  3. Oh friend, this is good!!! I started chuckling as soon as I started reading and never stopped smiling thru the whole thing. Hits ya in the face like a big ole’ splash of cold water , eh? 🙂


    • Thank you, Kay (I knew you would chuckle – knowing me so well)! And I love your comparison to getting splashed in the face with cold water. Yep, sometimes this is just what I need. Thanks again!


  4. Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve been surprised at how much of myself I have to reveal to tell a story. Reading your blog I couldn’t help feeling you were a fellow traveler. Thank you for laying down your life for your friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Don, your words are such an encouragement! Thank you. And your posts – and life – have also resonated with mine. I’m grateful we have connected here, sharing our humanity and God’s infinite love.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Karen, your words rang true to me as well! I shared this with my husband since he had a similar experience a while back. We smiled as we read your post. As always, thank you for sharing ! Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks for the “company”, Sandy! I cringed when I hit the publish button, so it’s always nice to know that others share similar experiences and feelings. We are all connected… Bless you both!


  6. Pingback: ANOTHER PRAYER FROM A STRANGER – Simply Soul Searching

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