It was 2014 and I had heard of this healing service taking place inside a local church one day. It was during the ordeal of my wife and her cancer although I think she had just been given the all clear at this stage.
From day one in the chemotherapy room she had met and became friends with a lady called Lucy. A very quiet and lovely woman, Lucy was a homosexual who lived with another lady I had known my whole life.
Lucy had ovarian cancer and although many efforts were made to rescue her from this, unfortunately she was given the news that the treatment will no longer save her.
I’ve no idea what went through her mind but she had resolved to remove herself from the treatment and just let the cancer take its course.
I recalled a year she was at the stations of the cross which is a theatrical performance that takes place in the streets. I played Jesus that year under invitation by some local Roman Catholics.
With this in mind I thought I’d invite her to the healing service. She was in St.James Hospital, and, encouraged by me, my wife who conversed with Lucy more frequently and so sent her the invite.
She was that close to deaths door that she didn’t think that permission would be given to come but the nurse took her down.
We arrived and I allowed God to do the rest. I watched Lucy from a distance in her wheelchair by now totally unrecognizable. A priest I have great admiration for, quite frankly the only one in the diocese with some salt in him, approached Lucy.
She was having her confession heard. Towards the end of the service, the Charismatic Lady I am not sure who she is but came all the way from Australia. Apparently she converses with Jesus, and the small number of people there all lined up along the altar was approached by her for her to pray over them with a personal message from Jesus.
I always wondered what it was she said to Lucy.
When my time came she said ”Jesus says ”You have come here today to honor Me, but I have come to honor you for your loyalty to Me”.
That was back in 2014 and I’ve never forgotten what was said. I won’t lie and say I believed it to be true and I’m the most disloyal personal I know so I came home confused. Why would the Lord praise me or extol me? It seems unlikely that if this message was from Jesus that he was say such a thing to me. Praise doesn’t normally come from the Lord.
The other part of me thought it made sense as every day I was struggling to remain in the Catholic Church myself. However that still didn’t mean Jesus was talking to me as many the times the devil often knows your situation too and will often say things that sound good. Not that I’m saying I know if it was Jesus or not, I always like to play the safe card and say I ultimately don’t know.
Whatever the case may be, following the service I met with Lucy in the wheelchair. She could not really speak so I nervously just shook her hand by now so weak and fragile. A few days later Lucy fell asleep in the Lord at home.
We attended the wake and the funeral Mass. Lucy never allowed anyone know what was going in her heart but her actions of coming to the stations of the Cross, having her confession heard and receiving the anointing of the sick in addition to organizing a Catholic funeral spoke louder than any speech she could have written.
It was clear that the Lord, although he did not heal her of the cancer that day, gave her something much greater than any of us here could imagine. Jesus gave Lucy forgiveness, himself and a place in his Kingdom.
That my friends is the ultimate prize, to know and love God both here and in the hereafter with the Blessed Theotokos and all the Saints and Lucy in her last moments was given that opportunity and she took it.
We stand there and think ”God didn’t heal her that day how sad” and yet how wrong we are, he certainly did.
Eternal memory to Lucy who was Loyal to her calling to come home.