Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A New Beginning

I just noticed as I clicked the icon to write a new post that this will be my 51st post. That seems appropriate. I feel like I'm at a new beginning. Everything has changed. My entire world transformed with one single touch.

As I mentioned last night, Jan agreed to heal Lucy, but only if that's what Lucy wanted. On our way to the hospital, Jan reiterated over and over that she would do nothing without Lucy's consent. She was not about to be accused of shoving her mutant power down anyone's throat. So we got to Lucy's room and found her parents there. We chatted with them for a few minutes--they've gotten to know me well in the past two months--and then I asked if Jan and I could have just a moment alone with Lucy. Jan did not feel that Lucy's parents needed to be involved in the decision or in the healing itself; as far as Jan was concerned, the decision was between Lucy and God. Her parents said they needed to grab a bite to eat at the cafeteria anyway.

Jan sat down next to Lucy and took her hand. Lucy gave her a blank stare. Lately, it's hard to tell how much she even notices what's going on around her. Jan took a deep breath. "Lucy, I know X told you a while back that he has a special power." She actually used my real name this time, as Lucy wouldn't know who "X" is. "Well, I have a power too. I'm a mutant, just like X."

 No discernible reaction from Lucy.

"I want to assure you," Jan went on, "that both X and I have strong testimonies of the gospel and of the power of the priesthood. I know the church teaches that those of us with unnatural power proclivities should not use our powers. Generally, I follow that rule, just like I try to follow all the commandments. But X thinks we might have a special situation. Maybe an... exception to the rule."

Jan looked to me and I motioned for her to continue. Still no sign that Lucy was following along.

"See, the power I have is to heal. When people are hurt or sick, I can make them better. Some people... My dad says this is blasphemous. That my power makes a mockery of the priesthood because it mimics something the priesthood does, but comes from an unholy source. I used my power on him once, after he'd been in a bad car accident, and he hasn't forgiven me since." Jan sniffed, then continued. "But X thinks that maybe my power does come from God. That Heavenly Father made me this way for a reason. That maybe I can be a tool in his hands, to help you.

"What I'm saying, Lucy, is that I can heal you. I can make the cancer go away. I've never healed something this big, but I know I can do it. But I won't do it without your permission. If you believe it's wrong, I won't do it. Do you understand, Lucy? If you can hear me and you want me to do this, I just need you to let me know. Maybe squeeze my hand, or blink twice, or something."

We both stared in silence while Lucy stared back at us. I just about jumped out of my seat when Lucy's mouth moved. A nearly inaudible whisper came out, hardly more than a breath of air. Jan leaned in closer and I followed suit. Lucy's mouth moved again, and this time I heard it: "Please." A tear formed at the bottom corner of her left eye, then dripped onto the bed.

Jan nodded. She was crying now, too. She left one hand in Lucy's, then put the other on her forehead. She shut her eyes to concentrate. I expected some kind of glow or aura to come out of her hands, but there was no visible manifestation of her power. The healing itself, however, was quite visible. It started out slowly, with color returning to Lucy's cheeks. Then her cheeks slowly expanded, making her all-too-prominent cheekbones disappear. Her hair grew back--apparently Jan was healing not only the cancer, but also the effects of the chemotherapy. Her wrists filled out, returning to a healthy circumference. Finally, she took a deep breath, smiled, and sat up. It was like she was a brand new person.

That's when Jan collapsed onto the floor. "Jan!" I called as I crouched down beside her.

"Oh no," Lucy said. She hit the button on the side of her bed to call for a nurse.

The nurse was shocked, of course, to see that Lucy was sitting up and looking healthy as ever while a different person lay unconscious on the floor. But he recovered quickly, called in other nurses, and got Jan into a bed.

The next few hours are something of a blur. Lucy's parents came back and were so overwhelmed with joy to see their daughter healthy that they didn't care how it had happened. A doctor checked on Lucy to verify that she really is as healthy as she looks. They did tests and won't have results for a few days, but those results will just confirm what we already know. A doctor did a full check-up on Jan. I was worried the cancer had somehow transferred to her, but he said the symptoms suggest she is simply exhausted. He thinks that using her power wears her out just like running a marathon would any other person, and he says studies suggest this is common among mutants. She's still unconscious but seems to be otherwise healthy, and they have her hooked up to an IV to speed along her recovery.

I should be more concerned for Jan than I am, but the thing is I know we did the right thing. Jan performed a miracle, and even though she didn't use the priesthood, she did it in God's name. He'll take care of her. Lucy thanked me a million times, and apologized for freaking out when I came out to her in November. She remembers everything Jan said, and she says she felt the Spirit confirm to her that it was true--that God did give us our powers so that we could help people. She wants to go door to door and tell everyone what we did for her, to help people understand that mutants aren't bad people.

But that will come later. For now, she's celebrating with her family, as she should be. And I'm content to sit here next to Jan's hospital bed, watching the sun rise over the mountains.


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