Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Butterfly Effect

It is a simple theory. How the brush of a butterfly’s wings stir into motion effects that cause massive currents and torrents far from the point of the swish where it originated as an inaudible disturbance of air by perhaps the most beautiful and fragile creatures God set Himself to create.

In another genre and sphere, I have felt the brush of the butterfly wing …or perhaps the wing of an angel. I want to tell you a story of how the life of a dear friend sent into my life such power it staggers the imagination and borders in the realm of miracle. I have a friend Joe. Two years ago we were having dinner and he told me of a brief bout with melanoma and showed me the scar just about at the top of the his hairline. He said the plastic surgeon did a pretty good job and looking at it, I recall agreeing with him. He looked good. I made an undetectable sigh for my dear lifelong friend. We had lost touch over the years but in the autumn of life, we re-connected and I realized then how much I loved him. A few months later, the cancer was back and aggressive. I prayed and prayed but there seemed to be no light at the end in sight. My friend grew weaker and the ogre had his death grip on him. He took chemo to no avail and the disease spread. He grew jaundiced and weak. I began to prepare for the seeming inevitability. Yet he began reading books on the subject o f healing and began to take to the Bible as the medicine it truly is. I recall the story. In his darkest moment during the last month of 2014, he was alone late at night in his bathroom and began to pray for God’s healing. Giving himself over and surrendered to the Almighty. I don’t know if it was for peace and strength or for healing maybe even both. But as he recounts it, he broke into a sweat, the jaundiced look was flushed over by pink and the next morning the tumors so prevalent the evening before were no longer there. A month later, he returned to the doctor and there was no trace…anywhere.  I rejoiced with him and his wife. God had surely healed my friend. I was relieved and happy.

Fast forward to the July of this year. I had been experiencing a rapid and irregular pulse and decided it was time to go to the doctor about it. I had thought that I was just out of shape and needed to begin my running in earnest. After the doctor took by pressure and listened to my heart, he looked at me most incredulously and said. ‘you mean to tell me you just walked in off the street and came in here to be seen…we usually see your type in the emergency room. Mr. Flynn, what you are experiencing is life threatening it is a very serious condition.’ Well to say the least, my wife and I were shocked. In the aftermath of that first meeting, I began a regimen of pills to see if it would help. I saw a specialist and he also tried to use medicines but to no help. In one meeting I heard the words ‘oblation’ and ‘you have congestive heart failure and your heart is operating at about half the rate of a normal heart.’ In other words, I was on the long slide to an inevitable end. Too much damage had been done and maybe just maybe, I might recover some capability but it was going to be a long and difficult road back. I under went the recommended treatment. Even under the anesthetic, I could feel the burn of the treatment to try to re-synch my heart rhythm.  For three days I stayed while they monitored. Then I went home. More medicine and more thinking about what was ahead. Tossing and turning each night by my sleeping wife wondering if I was going to be around for her the next few years or not.  Living day to day in quiet desperation.

The phone rang and it was my friend Joe. I told him all that had happened, He listened and then spoke words I had always heard and believed for others but never for myself. He reminded me of his own story and he said he was going to send me a few books that had helped him. I promised I would read them. When they came in the mail the next week, I looked at them like some strange story. I was reluctant to read them . One was only a small pamphlet. But there was one scripture it mentioned. It was Proverbs 4:20-22:

“My son, give attention to my words;Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes;Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.”

I stopped in my tracks. I can take no credit for the recall of an experience I had a few years ago. I had come out of a group that had in my opinion used the scriptures inappropriately and at that time I was reviewing all I had learned there. One of the scriptures in Hebrews was the  fulcrum of all their teachings. I had purposed a year prior to review everything I had learned there and put each and every tenet to the test. When I got finished with doing this with the scripture in Hebrews, I was able to not only explain where what I had learned was flawed but in an objective fashion cast down by the words of God Himself what had been taught to me. That night was a healing and renewing of my mind through much effort and study. The word had healed my mind.  In my current situation, I had this nugget of true healing to make a toehold on the sheer wall to which I was clinging. It was if the Holy Spirit whispered Himself: ‘If the word could heal your mind, most assuredly it could heal your body.’

This was how it began. I had been given a great gift: prior experience from the Almighty to rely upon. I began to pray and take God’s word as any medicine. I recalled the words of my friend Joe: ‘Just reach out and take it.’ Not a fanfare or a lot of effort but simply receiving as one of the myriads over whom Jesus shadow passed and hands touched.

Today I went to the doctor to review my results of a stress test. I was hopeful but guarded. Vicki and I prayed in the office before he cracked the door that we were expecting a good report. We closed out that prayer. As he came in the first words out of his mouth were ‘Did you get my email?’ To which I replied I did not. He apologized and said. ‘After the stress test, your heart appears to be normal.’  I was shocked and surprised. I said ‘I am not sure what you mean.’ Does that mean that the decline has stopped? You mentioned I was operating at half the normal rate. He said ‘Well your heart is normal and is operating at 55% versus the 30%. It is normal.’

I could not believe what I was hearing. I was NORMAL?!  He mentioned that I should go off one medication and cut to half the other. I was on five now I am on three. He mentioned the one I was to cut in half, he would be okay if I discontinued it after some time or at least tried it out. 

The rest of the day I could not work or keep a thought in my head. My wife looked at me and said ‘Honey, congestive heart failure does not disappear and to recover fully is practically unheard of…’ We both smiled and knew there was a third person in the car as we drove home with a new lease on life. No dark shadows. No hidden storms. No days cut short. It gives me hope.  Hope to see my children, to see their children some of whom  I have never seen. To put the impending judgment some spoke and believe in its proper place, the grave itself…and to soar on wings of faith once again.

I am here and I am well by the power of the Almighty. So I pass on the Butterfly effect to you the reader. God has other plans for you. Open your sails of faith and let the growing power that started with my friend and passed to me fill them and move you along to pass it on yourself.

Maybe it was not a butterfly’s wing but an angel’s…who can tell.