Astha (name changed)came to us with florid jaundice ,looked grossly incapacitated ,had a virchow’s node palpable .Even as I examined her, I silently sent a prayer up asking the Lord for early diagnosis because she had been admitted in a hospital in Dehradun, had been worked up without a conclusion for over a week.We had the diagnosis at the end of the day.She had Ca-head of the pancreas.She was all of 32 yrs old,had lost her husband to a bout of drunken driving.I had to break the news to a broken father and an incapacitated sister.Not a pleasant job.I sat with the duo ,broke the news,talked to them generally about the way to go about it ,talked about God’s goodness in answering my prayer of an early diagnosis and offered to pray with them.Disturbed they were, but extremely receptive to my suggestion.Since Sushil was looking after the ward and they were referred for a second opinion to the oncologist in Dehradun,I thought that was all I would see of them.
The next morning ,while my clinic was on ,a husband and a wife entered my room and asked to talk to me.Well dressed and well spoken,they had come to get the plan reiterated.They were the brother and the sister in law of the patient.I did what I could and after expressing their gratitude for the time ,they were about to leave when the husband suddenly turned around and introduced the topic of faith.Apparently he had been in touch with a pastor in Dehradun who had been leading them through a series of healing and accompaniment for various issues of life.
He was a hindu gentleman and he concluded the talk by informing me that he would ask the pastor to pray for his patient and see what happened.
Out of the blue,I found myself saying –‘why do you want to ask the pastor,why don’t you do it yourself,He is your Messiah,as much as he is the pastor’s!’.
The man looked shaken …I repeated the sentence …touched by the power of the truth I had just spoken….what an amazing revelation for a man from a culture where ,for every favour asked ,one needs to pay a price and a medium to perform the rite.