I’ve spent hours upon hours, lying in a sweat, trying to figure out if I am going to die, and, if so, how long will it take and how much will it hurt. Breast lump number three is growing at the speed of light, concrete hard, and unmovable — all signs that it is cancerous and not a cyst. The free insurance for my state told me that my eligibility ran out today, the very day I called to ask for help, and the federal program which helps everyone said that they couldn’t see me for two months.
Several years ago a dedicated Swami told me about John of God, the healer from Abadania, Brazil, now my only remaining option. Not being a world traveler nor personally drawn to faith healers, it was solely the purity of this individual making the suggestion that allowed me to undertake such a quest.
Standing Before John of God
Thankfully, I arrive a day before the activities at the Casa begin. The Casa is the friendly name for John of God’s healing center. This day of rest and grounding is crucial after the chaotic twenty-four hour journey here. Claudio and Miriam, the hosts at my inn, join me at the otherwise empty breakfast table for good cheer and chatting. After breakfast, they gather me up, and whisk me off in their car to the Casa and into the arms of their good friend Marissa, a dedicated Casa translator. I feel grateful that such complete strangers have taken such a loving interest in me.
After standing in line for forty-five minutes, the last remaining person between John of God and me moves to the side. I absolutely cannot look at him. Sobs eject themselves from my throat. All I can do is weep. Tears all at once wet with two years of non-stop anxiety that I was going to die, and wet with the ecstasy of having crossed the portal into this sacred process. The intensity of his being consumes me.
All of us birthed from the loins of the New Age movement are humbled at the feet of the man with no ego. The man who wants nothing... the man who claims nothing... the man who accepts ongoing physical pain and emotional suffering for one purpose — to help us. In previous times, government authorities have persecuted, beaten and thrown him in jail for his efforts to heal others free of charge.
Before entering the Casa, I spent fifteen minutes talking to Marissa, explaining my disease, frantic that I wouldn’t explain it carefully enough and therefore would not be healed. “ It started out as a small lump, the size of a grape seed, on the outside layer of my breast. I had it removed and it was diagnosed as stage one cancer.... that was eighteen months ago.” I continue on to describe the reoccurrence: “A few months ago, I started having discomfort at the inside core of my breast, which quickly grew into a large lump about the size of a walnut and hard as a rock. The scariest part is that it feels like someone is poking me in the back with a sharp stick, which makes me believe that it has spread to my back.”
John of God talks right over the Casa attendant reporting this description to him: “One crystal bath and then an operation at two p.m.” I am not sure if I should feel slightly discouraged or slightly encouraged about this encounter. Ultimately, no one at a higher level feels the need to clarify; it simply isn’t necessary. What’s the purpose in clarifying faith — it’s a bit oxymoronic.
The modesty and friendliness of this isolated country town rejuvenates visitors in ways that go beyond what even the nicest spas in America can achieve. I am feeling refreshed and amazed at the anxiety I have released in a few short days. The pandemonium of my life has faded and I am excited and nervous about my operation.
All the patients needing operations file into the operation room and sit on wooden benches side by side. “Sit with your eyes closed. It is very important not to open your eyes. Put your hand on the part of your body that needs help or put your hand over your heart.” We sit in the described posture for along time.
I wait to hear the prayers from John of God, a process I remember from my previous trip. Then I hear someone singing in Portuguese, lightly, happily and rather loudly. I feel a wave of intense and unfamiliar emotions wash over me.
A Casa interpreter explains to me later and matter-of-factly that this is Dom Inacio, who likes to sing. Of the unusually large number of spirits who communicate and heal through John of God, Dom Inacio is considered to be the most powerful. After sitting in this fashion for about thirty minutes, surgery is complete and we are directed to get lots of sleep.
I have permission to withdraw, to vegetate and to recuperate from a high-pitched chaos of disease remediation. The soft rainy then sunny weather is very much like Hawaii. I welcome the sleep that happens after operations — there is no sleep like this sleep. Although I slept well last night, I sleep soundly for several more hours. Claudio and Miriam, who brought the healing soup of the Casa to my room before my nap, now bring supper to my room.
Over the six-week period I have spent here, I have had operations and crystal baths, visited John of God several times, taken blessed herbs, and spent time in the healing current rooms and at the sacred waterfall. During this time, what started out as a walnut-sized lump in my breast, shrunk to grape-sized and is now pea-sized.
In the land where bizarre is the standard, the bizarre has happened. More importantly, the “sharp stick poking me in the back” feeling is no longer present. But most important of all, for the first time in over a year, I have no anxiety over having cancer and no fears that I am going to die.
I am reminded of a few verses from the Course in Miracles: “Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong,” and “Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead, because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both.”
Debi Bird is a business and personal coach living near Sedona, AZ. After leaving a position as a Securities Broker with a large financial institution, she began investigating ways to make the world work better. As a result, she founded an environmental organization, became an alternative healing enthusiast, and embraced spiritual life. Gathering together what she has harvested from her intense search, she now provides her own brand of coaching. She has an MBA in Finance from George Washington University and has been a lifetime student of the Vedas.
Debi can be reached for coaching sessions and general information at Email: email@example.com; Visit: www.debibird.com; Blog: www.debibird.com. Phone: (928) 202-7052.