I’ve always wondered about Lazarus, always wanted to, in some way, to have been there and watched, a fly on the wall, as the event unfolded. The rush of Jesus to the scene, not understanding what he will find when he walks into that room. His seeming disorientation when he comes out.
Once I made up a supposition that it was a trick of God, well, not really a trick, but an illusion that Jesus followed to the house of Lazarus. Lazarus wasn’t dead, just ill and needing a pick-me-up. But he was dead. What was God doing? Perhaps, I supposed, he was leading Jesus there to show Jesus that he had the ability to actually bring someone back from the dead.
Perhaps Jesus was being taught the mechanics of it so that he could apply his knowledge when it came to bringing himself back from the dead. Back from hell. Back from being where there is no God, no salvation, no love.
I was in the midst of a really, really long and complex flight. To describe what I went through and what I learned during that flight would take perhaps longer than the flight itself, which lasted well over a year.
At one point, though, I was studying miracles. I define a miracle as a stepping out of time to ensure the outcome. There are three essential elements to a prayer: God, time, and you. Step out of time, and you are left with God and you. Since you are the one stepping out of time, you are really just left with God. A miracle can perhaps be described as an answered request for grace. Here is the problem, just do something about it.
But I was in my studies of miracles. During this study I had experienced a few, one which left me almost without orientation in life and prayer, it was such a powerful experience. And by this time, I was becoming accustomed to the tsunami that was experiencing God step into a situation and do his thing. Or at least I was trying my best to become accustomed to it all.
I was working on a specific prayer that I would use specifically for a miracle. It had a specific structure. It had specific words for most of it. It had an opening at the end to insert the desired result.
So, one day, I was instructed to go pray for a miracle to bring someone back from death. Dust, I kept thinking, dust rising.
I could see the dust in my hand, eventually blowing away or falling through my fingers. Just dust.
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
From dust to dust, but not back again.
I am not Jesus. I am not having to learn the mechanics of resurrection in order to apply it to myself. And I can’t see that bringing someone back from the dead was all that useful of a tool to have in one’s arsenal of weapons in this world.
If I were dead, I wouldn’t want anyone messing with me and bringing me back. Think of how terrible the body would feel. How it would ache and sputter at the inconvenience, the unnaturalness of it all.
But, if anything, I am obedient. So I chose a very quiet, very small, very uninhabited chapel. I placed a chair so that it was directly in front of the cross on the altar. And I began to pray.
I didn’t know anyone newly deceased, so I prayed that God resurrect whomever he chose. And I prayed. And prayed. And prayed.
The end result of the prayer that I use for these kinds of exercises doesn’t really matter. The prayer seems to have an ability to take on a life of its own and take over the process. I just wind up floating along.
After a few hours, a young man came into the chapel. He sat a little behind me and to the side. And I could tell that he was watching me. I wondered if I was glowing or something. He seemed unable to take his eyes off of me.
I wondered what was happening.
After a time, he got up from his chair, bowed toward me, and left.
I kept praying.
Then, came a sensation that ran up my spine. A thrill. A dance of electrons. Life.
I was exhausted. I came back into consciousness, in the normal sense of the word, realized that I was prayed out, and left.
The next day, for some unknown reason, in chapel it was announced that a police officer in Texas (if I remember correctly) who had been shot in the back and had not only lost his ability to move below his waist but had been in a coma for a number of years had, miraculously, his spine healed and restored to him, and had come back into the world of the active and the alert.
He was completely healed.
For no obvious reason at all.
And I have wondered ever since about it all. The connection of my prayer to this man. The announcement about this man coming out of the blue.
The ultimate mystery of God.