The Rev. Nigel W.D. Mumford+
I met seven-year old April when her mother asked for prayer for April’s upcoming surgery for an ectopic heartbeat. An atrial ectopic rhythm is a rhythm where the impulse formation in the atrium is coming from the wrong place. During surgery the heart is mapped to find the secondary center and a catheter is inserted, then charged with a small electric charge to oblate the cause of the secondary heartbeat. This condition is quite uncomfortable and causes real dysfunction. It can cause cardiac arrest.
I arrived at their home in Bethel CT a few days before the scheduled surgery. April’s mum proceeded to tell me about an incident that had her very concerned.
Some weeks ago, April had picked up a woolly caterpillar that she had named Woolly. Woolly had pupated into a butterfly. April found Woolly upside-down on the floor on Friday. It was dead. Her mum told me that April was very distraught because Woolly had died and was now very worried about the oblation surgery for her heart. Was she going to die too?
April came into the living room looking very sad indeed. Her bottom lip quivered as she carried a blue box, which she handed to me. I looked inside and there was Woolly, lying on a piece of cotton wool. Yes, Woolly was dead. I looked at April, wondering how I was going to pray for her heart when she was so distracted with the death of her pet. I said a brief prayer for Woolly. Although I don’t remember what I said, I do remember the look on April’s face – a look of absolute astonishment. I turned to look at Woolly. It’s antennae were moving. Then the legs started moving, then slowly the wings moved. Then to our amazement, Woolly, who had died three days earlier, took flight and landed on the window. I was then able to pray for April’s heart. Later that evening, April’s Mum told me how amazing it was to see Woolly alive and how April was now filled with the joy of the Lord.
April went with confidence and bravery to her successful surgery. A week or so later she wrote an essay on the miraculous event and submitted it in a competition. She won the $5000 first prize, and had her essay turned into a book.
What did I learn? I confess I don’t remember the prayer. I felt like it was a throw away prayer, a stop gap until I could put my hands on April’s heart. I learned that we must not limit God. He will do what He wants to do. This little girl, her Mum and I witnessed a miracle that gave us a huge faith lift. We knew that God’s Kingdom was very near. The very presence of the Resurrection Power, that Power and Glory we remember as we say the Lord’s prayer. Yours Lord is the power and the Glory.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Lord, let me not be guilty of limiting you ever again.
May the healing Grace of the Lord be with you,