Sunday, May 10, 2009

Healing hands

It was about three months ago, and I was visiting a graveyard. It was a grey day. The sky was grey, everything around me was grey except for an occasional bunch of flowers which punctuated the lines of leaning grey headstones with splodges of colour.

My eye was caught by grave which stood out from the rest. Instead of dreary grey, it was white. Pure white marble.
Alongside a young man knelt, a posey of white roses in his hand. As I walked closer he nodded his head toward me, and I felt the need to stop and look on. I read the inscription on the headstone. Arthur Mason 1963 – 2009 In God’s Hands Now.
A relation?” I asked.
“My father” he replied.
The young man placed his flowers on the stones and stood up.
“Rick” he said as he stretched out his hand. “Rick Mason”
I introduced myself and then we chatted for a bit about what it meant to visit a departed loved one. Walking out of the churchyard he pointed towards the inn opposite.
“I’m having a beer in my Dad’s favourite pub” he said “I always like to raise my glass to him after we’ve had a graveside chat! Fancy joining me?”
Never one to turn down a pint I followed him into the Good Intent here we sat in front of a crackling log fire with tankards of frothing ale in our fists.
Rick told me that his Dad was well known in this pub for his party trick. It seems that after a drink or two he often claimed to have healing hands. If someone complained of a headache he’d negotiate a fee, usually a pint of best bitter, then place his hand on his patients head, mutter some mumbo jumbo and the headache would seemingly disappear. No one took it really seriously though. Perhaps the headache went naturally, perhaps they just thought it had as they got carried along by the laughter and applause. Who knows? Arthur claimed that after performing his miracle cure the pain would transfer itself to him! "Nothing a couple of aspirin won’t cure" he'd say as he downed his reward.
Now and again he was asked to heal a cut finger or a bruised arm. “Not my field” he would say! He only dealt with pain unseen.
One day a girl told him that she couldn’t sit on a bar stool because she’d been stung on the bum by a bee! After agreeing a price, a large malt whiskey, he took great pleasure in stroking the girl’s rear, and then took a bow as the young lady declared the ache gone. He then went to sit on his chair then leapt to his feet again saying he was unable to sit for the pain!
Suddenly the smile disappeared from Ricks face. He held his glass in both hands and stared into it as if examining its contents. Very quietly and without looking up, Rick said “A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer”. There was a period of uncomfortable silence. He raised his head and looked me in the eye. “My father was distraught when I told him” he continued. “He'd never been one for physical contact where I was concerned but that day he held me tightly in his arms and told me not to worry. Everything would be alright”The strangest thing happened. A few weeks later a scan showed that Rick’s cancer had disappeared without a trace. And soon after, Arthur died from the same cancer that had once afflicted Rick.
We finished our drinks and prepared to leave the pub. I stood up and caught my head with a crash on the shelf above the inglenook fireplace. I remember that it really hurt. We walked out into the street and shook hands. Then Rick ruffled my hair and said “Next time you go in there beware of the low flying shelf!”
“I certainly will” I said. Then as we walked away from each other I realised the pain from my bump had gone. I looked over my shoulder and saw Rick disappearing into the distance, rubbing his head.


  1. i dont know if you made this up or its real but wither way i loved it!!!! scary if there were those that could actually do such things,, and would.....

  2. Keith I just don't know what to say anymore without sounding like a broken record. I'm just astonished at your ability to produce such profound stories. It takes someone with a special gift to yarn a tale or tell a story. You have that gift.

  3. if only we could really do that. thank you for a great post.

  4. Very clever story, Keith! I really love the low key approach Arthur had, performing his little miracles in a pub. I've seen a few evangelists in the US who claim to have such powers. Of course they pump up their claims through the wonders of television and lots of "donations" from willing parishioners. I'm more inclined to believe Arthur.

  5. Amazing how you come up with these stories ............. most enjoyable read

  6. Keith I think you achieved your purpose of the post!

    It struck my mental chords and I think it is now tuning with my healing :)

    Happy SS

  7. Well this sure does me...some people do have the skill for it.

  8. A moving story, one I'd like to believe in. Some have this gift. You have the gift for storytelling, layers on layers wind around the theme of love here.

  9. dynamite from ideation to the finished product - paced so softly and written in such a down to earth style that i can't be certain it isn't true on some level!!!

  10. That was wonderful and gave me chills.

  11. This is so good, Keith. You know how to tell a story - to make the reader see. Thank you. xoxo

  12. interesting story. can't tell if it's real or make believe. but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

  13. By now, Keith, I should not be amazed at your stories. But I am.
    Sometimes I can't tell fact from fiction. I think that is what makes them all so real.
    If this is real and you joined the fellow in the pub, Bless you for helping to ease his pain. ANd yours :)

  14. first i must say... I love the word splodges and WILL be borrowing it!
    Second... ANOTHER Chilling, interesting,Perfectly told tale by my favorite story teller! WEll DONE Mr.Keith!
    ( i would love to know if there was something in particular that inspired this

  15. Most wonderful tale - I've heard of this happening and have seen small indications of it locally. Interesting! Well written, as always.

  16. Hi Keith!

    I believe in this phenomena.

    I could say that there's reality to this. I for one have done and been through such a similar experience. When I was a kid, and when I got sick, it is always my fear that my parents and my siblings would get sick, too. So I would pray that nobody will get sick in the family and for me to just get all the pain that the sickness I have at a certain moment instead. I would wish in my sick bed to spare other people from the same sickness, and always, my wish is granted, that's the reason maybe when I was sick as a child it was always severe.

    I think healing is granted from our pure intentions and the sincerity of the wishes we breath into the other person with our healing energy and touch. We all have it!

    This is a lovely short story Keith, be it real or made up.

    Note: I'm taking a break from painting and trying to stay away briefly from my easel. I thought of dropping by(You can view my 2009 new paintings in my web nook)

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

  17. I was hooked from the moment you described the colors in the cemetery so vividly. Who knew that whites and grays could be so bright? And then you got me again with this wonderful haunting story... You have quite a gift.

  18. I hope this is just a story. A brilliant one....

  19. A great story that grabs your mind and will not let go, and dammed If I don't really believe it even if it is embellished. My mother-in-law can cure warts by rubbing them with an onion and then saying some kind of mumbo jumbo and finally burying the onion upside down. It worked for me. Great story and well written.
    For some reason my butt hurts.