wife and I received a phone call from my older brother, telling us my
youngest brother had a malignant brain tumor. A couple days later my
wife and I drove down to lower Michigan to see him and pray with him.
When we got there we found my brother to be very bitter, confused, distressed,
and by his own admission, an alcoholic, a workaholic, plus he had stopped
going to church.
As we prayed with my brother Pete, my wife had a word of knowledge,
that triggered something in him that raised his interest in coming back
to church and the sacraments. We suggested he see a priest and go to
the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
My brother had his operation, which was really not a success. First
of all, they couldn't get the entire tumor, and in addition he lapsed
into a coma.
I was not able to get back to visit him until three days after his operation.
I asked the nurse if my older brother and I could see my younger brother
and pray for him. She said, it would take a miracle, because his brain
stem had shifted - and when that happens they usually only live for
twenty-four hours. I told the nurse we believe in miracles.
As my older brother and I began to pray in the Spirit, Pete opened his
eyes and smiled. He could only mouth my name and then gave us the thumbs
up sign. His wife and the nurse couldn't believe their eyes since he
had been in a coma ever since the operation. The Lord had truly performed
a miracle that day. But it wasn't until a year later that we would come
to understand what the Lord was to do in Pete's life. There was still
much praying and shepherding to be done.
God bless my older brother, who had just come into the charismatic renewal,
stepped into Pete's life, and encouraged him to receive the Sacrament
of Reconciliation and go back to church. After that my older brother
not only prayed with him, but took him to daily Mass. Another dear friend
in the Lord who had never met my brother received a word of knowledge
to write a letter to my brother with this quote from Psalm 116. "The
cords of death encompassed me; the snares of the nether world seized
upon me; I fell into distress and sorrow. And I called upon the name
of Lord. O Lord save my life! For he has freed my soul from death, my
eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the Lord
in the lands of the living."
Pete shared with me the amazing thing about this letter. It was that
he had received about 150 cards and letters from friends. During the
middle of the night, the first time he was able to get out of bed, that
was the first letter he read. Psalm 116 became his favorite bible verse.
Yes, the Lord had performed a miracle in my brother's life. Instead
of having twenty-four hours to live, the Lord gave Pete a year. It was
to be a year of great conversion for him. Pete died after the Lord had
spared his life in that hospital room. But there was still a greater
miracle to be revealed.
Pete had written a short note to be read at his funeral Mass. He said
he didn't want anyone to feel sorry for him because he found the greatest
gift anyone could find. "I found Jesus Christ before I died!Ó
The Lord had performed the greatest healing of all, a spiritual healing.
Thank you Jesus for healing my brother.