No stitches for Stephen
Jesus said, “In my name you will place your hands the sick and they will get well”. (Mark 16:15–18)
On one of my visits to my sister Julia, my 9 year old son Stephen had an accident that needed a hospital visit and stitches, but God had other things in mind.
Julia and I had been watching our four children play but decided to go inside to make lunch. When we went inside, our children, all aged between 9 and 11, took our departure as an opportunity to add a little spice to their game.
They moved the trampoline they had been playing on further down the back yard, closer to the tool shed, and piled up some garden furniture next to the shed so they could climb onto the roof. They planned to each take turns jumping off the roof onto the trampoline and then onto the ground.
Great game – one big problem…
Julia lived in the Blue Mountains near Sydney and the lower part of her back yard was filed with various Eucalyptus trees, Wattles and Bottle-Brush. The shed was sitting among these trees and now the trampoline had been sited among them as well.
Just before we were ready to call the children in for lunch, they all came up the stairs and in through the back door; two were looking very sheepish, one was holding another up and the one being held, my son, was quietly crying.
Not a word was said!
Immediately I picked up Stephen and whisked him to the lounge room. Julia ran ahead of me and cleared the cushions off the lounge. After he was comfortable I asked him where he was hurting and Julia began checking his feet, legs for broken bones.
He just groaned, he was in too much pain to tell me where it hurt and there was no tell-tale blood.
Julia asked her sons where Stephen’s injury was and they pointed to his armpit. When we lifted up his arm, there it was, a huge, inch wide gaping slash, at least an inch deep, yet amazingly it was not bleeding.
Julia immediately rounded up the children and loaded them into her van, I carried Stephen and we headed for the hospital.
The truth is revealed...
On the way to the hospital, the other three children, my daughter Miriam and Julia’s sons Timothy and Jared, told us what had happened.
The game had been going as planned...one child would jump off the roof onto the trampoline and then bounce down onto the ground. Then the next child would jump off the roof onto the trampoline, making sure not to jump until the trampoline was clear.
But then, Jared decided it would be fun to dive bomb his cousin and jump onto the trampoline while Stephen was still on it. When he did, Stephen was catapulted into a tree.
As Stephen opened his arms to grab the tree, his underarm was pierced by the end of a broken off limb and he was impaled.
Seeing him stuck, and injured, the other children moved the trampoline under Stephen, climbed up, pulled him off the tree and brought him inside.
The miracle began…
At the hospital Stephen was placed into a bed in the emergency ward and a nurse cleaned out his wound. She said it was very deep but that the doctor was tied up and it could be a while before he would be free to do the stitching.
The thought of stitches sent Stephen into a panic and he begged me not to let him get stitches. He became so agitated that all I could do was pray for God’s peace.
I began to stroke his forehead and leaned down close to his ear so he could hear what I was praying. To my amazement he fell into a deep sleep before I finished the prayer, and stayed asleep until the doctor arrived 45 minutes later.
The nurse held up Stephen’s arm so the doctor could examine the injury. The doctor tried to open the wound to check for nerve damage but the wound wouldn't open.
He placed his two thumbs on either side of the gash and tried to pry them apart, but it still would not open. He tried again and without looking up he said, “This wound is sealed over, I can’t open it.”
I was dumbfounded!
He indicated to the nurse to put down Stephen’s arm, looked me directly in the eye and said, “This wound is healed.” Then, before he left, he tussled Stephen’s head and smiled at him, “You won’t need any stitches today son.”
I checked Stephen’s arm daily for the next few days; there was no redness, only a clean white scar which was so fine I could barely see it. Stephen had no pain, no itching and no discomfort at all. It was as if the injury had not happened.
How great is our God! How true is his word...
"You will lay hands on the sick and they WILL recover."
Monica is the author of several books REVELATION A Love Story, WHAT THEY SAW, LOVING What Does It Mean? JUDGING Is It A Sin? and TITHING Does It Insult God? Her children's book VIRTUAL to REALITY is due out late 2019. She writes occasionally for The Canberra Declaration, a powerful voice for Christian political and social change in Australia.