Standing in a corridor amid a swirl of chattering students, Allyn H., my classmate, just received a touching letter from Harry H., her eldest brother. And Allyn told me that there was enough light to enable her to make out the word - Hope.
Allyn remembered that her brother, Harry H., was a young man who had been a fantastic high school athlete. He was regarded as a potential Olympic swimmer. For years, Harry won every local, regional, and state swimming contests that he participated. Suddenly, he fell to pieces and his hopes to achieve an Olympic medal were dashed. In diagnosing his problem, the doctors came to a conclusion that Allyn's brother had asthma involving bronchial mucous membranes.
Asthma is one of the functional disturbances through which the inner anguish of a person's life is expressed in cases where there is a predisposition toward it. Or it is also derived from a combination of stresses with external allergies. Those suffered from asthma soon finds from bitter experience that certain emotional storms will bring on or intensify an attack. On the other hand, an asthmatic attack could be brought on by some violent emotions, such as fear of loved ones' death and an overload of anxiety. Therefore, asthma relates to a person's psychological and spiritual condition.
When Harry H. was ten years old, he experienced a severe and abrupt loss. One day, his grandfather, who was very special to him, became ill and passed away in the hospital within the following two weeks. During one of the last conversations he had with his grandfather at his hospital bedside, Harry urged him to try to recover. Yet, his grandfather's response was that he was too tired, and was ready to move on to his heavenly home. Harry became very upset when his next sight of his grandfather was in a coffin. He feared that his grandfather might be suffocating. Eventually, Harry swallowed his grief and tried to resume his life.
As a consequence of this, the strange circumstances had cast him into a life of sickness and pain instead of his former health and competence. Harry could no longer swim. He couldn't find the energy or enthusiasm to do anything at all. He felt that something was sitting so heavenly on his chest. He had to suffer from sporadic attacks of weakness, dizziness, and occasional fainting. Harry spent his days in hospitals trying to diagnose his mysterious disease and to find the right medication to relieve his pain. But nothing was working. Harry's health didn't improve. He felt desperate. During this period of hopelessness, Harry sickly asked himself, "Would I spend the rest of my life sick and dependent? What did God want me to learn from this continuing illness?"1 Harry kept these questions and feelings of doubt and anger towards God.
Harry H. couldn't recover until he discovered a paragraph from the Bible from which he found a true relief for him. He glimpsed the story of Jesus' healing the fever- stricken body of a nobleman's son. This distressed nobleman, whose son was at the death's door, journeyed a long distance to solicit the help of the famous Miracle - Worker. When the nobleman heard of Jesus, the Healer, hope sprang to life in his heart. In spite of the distance and the absence of the sufferer, by the exercise of His Will, Jesus healed the boy by the word of His mouth. These times of tranquil meditation on Bible and focusing on the healing process of Jesus enabled Harry to recover a will to live. Now, Harry gained in strength completely. He was living with positive emotions - creativity, hope, faith and love in Jesus, the only Source of Healing - New Hope for him and all of other sufferers.
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1. The asthma information was quoted from "The Healing of Persons", by (Tournier,Paul. 1965; p.42).
Esther L., July 22, 2001
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