MIRACULOUS PRAYERS BY PRISONERS
It was supposed to be the last stage, the ultimate visit of a peer in college (Letran) because in a few weeks, he will have to undergo the final surgery. He was medically pronounced with an irreversible ailment pointing directly to an advanced stage of cancer. He had only a veritable number of weeks to live unless a miracle happens. It was conveyed to me and if it was a joke, which my friend often does, then it was a tasteless one. I merely presumed that he was not pulling my leg that time.
And so there he was, a dear friend, Dan Bassig, who immediately phoned me before flying back into the country. He wanted to know if I could still bring him to an herbalist which we visited before along with some close friends who were being treated for their ailments. Dan firmly believed that the herbalist cured his restless leg syndrome, an ailment which no hospital in US was able to treat. Honestly, I have forgotten how to navigate to the place anymore. I could not even ask those who frequent the healer because two of them died already. After learning on the status of his fellow patients, Dan was discouraged and instead begged to spend time with us in a laughter spree.
It was an awkward situation. Here was a friend in a terminal case trying to be relevant and enjoying every minute, fulfilling every moment with the rest of us who were in our pink of health. I tried to hide the seriousness of the situation and went along with our merry making. To further heighten the reunion, I invited my friends to visit a prison facility which I organized five years ago—the Correctional Institution for Women in Mindanao. From a fledging camp into a full blown school, the correctional institution for women became an instant hospice in Davao del Norte. There I would require my talented wards to present a musical number.
I acceded to join the presenters. The all female band required me to play the drums for them and we had fun singing retro songs. My friends were full of excitement. Dan even went up the stage and joined the singers. He gamely gyrated and advanced the current dance craze. Everybody had a great day.
Dan could not contain his emotions and disclosed his terminal condition. There was a moment of silence. For those in the audience, they were expecting a punch line. It could probably some kind of a joke. I took the microphone and attested to the disclosure. Indeed, it was true that Dan was in a terminal case and he was already expecting the worst.
I summoned those in attendance to believe that prayers can storm the heavens just by mere intention to pray for the safety and treatment of someone they loved. I knew it. I convinced a group of prisoners to conduct the same and the result was a resounding success. It’s a pity that I lost tract of that important intervention when my sister was also in a bad state of health. I was emotionally disturbed and could not compose my mind. I was banking on my children and her children to do the prayers. But my sister felt heavy and she could no longer contain the pain. She bowed out eventually.
I took the floor and began to seek a unity of purpose from the audience. I summoned everyone to give my friend that privileged to be prayed upon. Just for a second only. I never asked that a marathon prayer should be conducted; a simple prayer done in unison was what I was seeking. The audience responded positively. They would also include in their collective prayers the recuperation of my friend. I felt their concern that moment. After the brief program, we left.
I accosted my friends back to the hotel in the city and the next day, sent them off.
Two months later, my friend wrote on my face book wall declaring that he passed the medical examination. No, he never took the medical board to become a physician. He passed the rigors of medical procedures to determine his state of health following the findings on cancerous tissues affecting his internal organs and what was revealed was a good finding. The tissues they suspect as cancerous which may have metastasized had regressed and his internal organs were back to its normal functioning. In other words, my friend was completely healed.
The hospital attributed it to the medicine they applied. My friend thought that he was just lucky.
I personally believed that the prayers of prisoners made it happen.