Helen was contemplating suicide. She told her friend Rosemarie that she
would like to come to our church discussion group, but only if it was not
a therapy group and did not focus on her. Rosemarie telephoned to see if
it would be okay for Helen to come under those conditions. I said it would
not be a problem, since no one else in the group knew Helen.
About a dozen people showed up for the meeting. As an experiment, I had them arrange their chairs in a circle. I said I would focus my attention on each person in turn, and try to send that person a thought. They should just sit with their eyes closed and notice whatever they perceived. Then we would compare notes.
As I worked my way around the circle, I found that some were easier to contact than others. The whole thing took longer than I expected, and so, not wanting to prolong the experiment, I just sort of scanned across the last three people.
Wham! Something hit me hard. I suddenly felt as if the rug was yanked out from under me, emotionally and spiritually, and I fell into a pit of despair. At the same time, I felt a burning pain in the calf of my left leg, like someone drove a red-hot iron rod into it. I prayed silently, "What is this!?" No answer. "Where did it come from?" I felt my attention swing back to Helen. "Oh ... this must be how she feels. I must have picked up her emotions when I scanned her. How awful. No wonder she's suicidal. But what about this pain in my leg?" Again, no answer.
I hid what I was feeling, and asked the group to share whatever they experienced during the experiment. Some said they did not perceive anything unusual. One said she had suddenly felt bathed in light, and another said, "So did I!" One said a thought had popped into her mind, and she repeated verbatim the short message I had sent to her. I confirmed it.
When I got around the circle to Helen, she said, "That's funny ... I was feeling awfully depressed, but toward the end of the experiment, I suddenly felt much better ... better than I have in a long time. And my leg quit hurting."
I asked, "What about your leg?"
"I have phlebitis."
"The left one."
"Above or below the knee?"
"Below ... why?"
"In the back of the leg? ... deep down in the middle of the calf muscles?"
"Why, yes... that's exactly where the pain was, but it's gone now."
I said, "Good. I think I know where it went."
I explained to the group that a burning pain had suddenly started in my left leg, apparently at the same moment the pain in Helen's leg stopped. "I've read about something like this... I think it was in a book by Ambrose and Olga Worrall, the healers in Baltimore. They said that taking on another person's illness is one way of healing, but not the best way. And something like it is mentioned in the Bible." [Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17]
One of the ladies said, "Well, that's nice. But then what? How does the healer get rid of the illness? How are you going to do it?"
I said, "I don't know. I guess I'll just have to figure that out for myself."
She smiled: "Let us know when you do."
As the group was leaving, Helen said, "I'm sorry your leg is hurting." Then she smiled at me sideways and said, "But I'm glad mine isn't!"
I laughed: "Right! And I'm sorry my leg is hurting, but I'm glad yours isn't."
We had another guest that night -- a young man from New Mexico who had been in a Sunday School class I taught when we lived there. Now he was in this area on business. I had promised to drive him to Baltimore after the meeting, where he would spend the night with friends before catching a plane back to New Mexico.
As I drove toward Baltimore, my leg was still hurting -- a lot. I thought, "This is crazy. It can't be suggestion, because I didn't know she had it. And it can't be a biological disease, because phlebitis wouldn't come on like that. Whatever this is, it came from her to me through some kind of non-physical connection. So, alright; the whole idea seems weird, but maybe I can get rid of it the same way I got it."
I imagined a cord -- like parachute shroudline -- from my left heel to the center of the earth. My thought was that it would be like an electrical grounding wire. Briefly, I wondered if the fact I was in a car going 65 miles per hour would have any effect on the cord, but apparently it didn't. That golfball-size area of red-hot pain started to move, very slowly, down my leg. It wasn't on the surface, but deep in the tissue near the bone. I just stayed aware of it with one part of my mind, because I was driving in rather heavy traffic on Interstate 95.
The ball of pain slowly migrated to the point of my heel, and then moved onto or into the cord. As it left my heel, the pain faded away, and was gone.