People sometimes come to me who have recently been diagnosed with a serious health issue and they tell me of their despair. They say that they have no hope left of recovering. With teardrops spilling on to their face, they may say in a solemn, serious tone: “I have a disease and my disease is incurable.”
For instance, I remember one man who was only 35 years oldwhen he was suddenly paralyzed, but he had been told there was “no medical explanation” for his condition. So, the doctors that he had already been seeing had given his condition a long fancy-sounding label, but then they said things like “we have done all the tests that we know to do, but we still cannot explain why you cannot walk. We don’t know how to help you. So because we don’t understand your condition well enough to help you, all we can do is give your condition a very special label, which is incurable.” By the way, within a few months he had a total recovery of the ability to walk.
Another even younger man came to me and said that he a had a red, itchy rash spreading across his body. It started on his face, then spread to the side of his face on his cheeks, then to his forehead, and then to his arms just below the sleeves. A few hours later, his skin literally started to fall off.
So, the young man came to me in a panic. He begged me, saying “Please help me. Please pray for me so that the demon which is inhabiting my body will be destroyed and I will recover.”
Then I took his hand in my hand and I looked him in the eyes and asked, “Is this your first time here on vacation?”The young man’s face shifted suddenly to a very confused look and he said to me: “Yes, but how did you know that I was here on vacation?”
I said: “you have been out in the sun too long. Just because you do not understand the source of the effects that you are experiencing, that does not mean that you have been possessed by a demon.”
He got a bit excited and said: “No, of course I am possessed. First of all, this has never happened to me before. Then today from out of nowhere, the demon burned my nose, then my cheeks, and then this living creature that had somehow possessed my body spread in to my forehead and my arms, attacking my skin. Look here at the layers of my skin just peeling away! It is even worse than it was an hour ago. Anyway, I know all about sunburn and this cannot be sunburn because I was not even in the sun at the particular moment when the demon starting attacking my skin and making it itchy. So, how can you say that it is not a demon that has been doing this to me? Look at my skin peeling away. I am not making this up! Are you calling me a liar?”
So, then I said to him: “Well, I admit that you sound very confident. So, since you seem like a person who is very motivated, I am going to share with you an old legend. Some people say that there is a rather common plant that has some magic lotion inside of it. I happen to have some of that lotion from the plant and, if you would like, you can rub some of it on your skin to drive away the demonic sunburn. Many people report very good results of using this substance to heal their skin from the burns. Believe it or not, they say that it kills the demon instantly.”
He stood up from his chair and pointed his finger in the air and then announced: “Well, you do not need to insult me. I am not going to fall for such foolishness. I will not be tricked in to embarrassing myself by using some untested methods recommended by a witch doctor like you. I am disappointed that you believe in such nonsense!”
As you might expect, he abruptly left in a rage. I had to make some effort as he left not to laugh, because his face was sunburned so bad that the more emotional that he got, the more pain he felt on his face.
As I said, he was a young man at that time. However, a few years later he had been coming here regularly for vacations and he came in to see me again. He said that he eventually recognized that he had simply developed a sunburn. In fact, he even had used the lotion that I had mentioned to him years before to relieve the pain and heal the burnt skin. So, he was coming to apologize and to thank me for my offer to help him.
However, he said that there was another reason he was visiting me. He had recently been possessed by a demon called skin cancer. He said it had spread from his nose to his hands and next to his lungs and now to his liver.
So that I was clear on what he was reporting, I asked him to confirm what I thought he had said: “so you have been possessed by a demon called skin cancer and the skin cancer has spread to your lungs and then skin cancer in your lungs also spread to your liver?”
He said “Yes. I even have some pictures of the living tumors which are growing larger as they eat away at my body.”
I asked him if he had ever considered that perhaps the tumors were clumps of unhealthy cells that were like a stack of dirty dishes in a sink. I invited him to consider that the pile of dishes is not itself alive. If the pile gets higher, that is only because new dirty dishes are getting added faster than anyone is removing the dishes for cleaning.
He repeated that he was very sad because the demon of cancer had invaded him. He also said that he did not know why I was talking about washing dishes. He asked if I was actually even a real witch doctor at all.
I told him that I was a minister, not a medical specialist. Then he asked me which medical school I had attended.
I told him that once I had visited the campus of a local college nearby. He said, “oh, yes, I know that is a very prestigious school, so congratulations! Anyway, what do you think I should do about the incurable skin cancer in my liver? Also, did you know that cancer is caused by unresolved anger issues?”
I asked him if he was familiar with the difference between correlation and causality. He said “thousands of people with cases of incurable possession by demonic skin cancer are very angry. Therefore, anger causes demonic possession by incurable skin cancer in the liver.”I asked him if he knew anyone who was angry without having any skin cancer in the liver. He said “yes, but why are you asking that?”
I asked him if he knew anyone with any kind of skin cancer that was not angry. He paused for a moment and then said that he did not personally know anyone else with skin cancer.
That is when I told him that I had previously been diagnosed with skin cancer. He said “no, that is impossible. You are not an angry person. So why would you be cursed with the punishment of being possessed by skin cancer demons like me?”
I told him that I was glad that he had come to visit, but I could not help him with his demonic possession. He said “but I thought you did exorcisms and stuff, right?”
I said “no, I do not performexorcisms.” He said, “well, I don’t really care if you have been specifically trained in dealing with incurable demons like mine. Just try to remove the demonic cancer from me with a prayer, okay?”I looked at him for a moment, tapping my finger a few times. Then I said “Dear Lord, please help this angry man possessed by demonic skin cancer of the liver. Thank you for your help, Lord. You are very powerful for an Almighty God, Lord, so please help this man to do the things that promote fast removal of all of the dishes from his sink. Guide him so that he will stop doing the things that add lots of dirty dishes to the sink very quickly. Finally, Lord, thank you for magically removing the demon of incurable skin cancer from my skin several years ago by showing me which practices lead to the effect of cancer and which practices lead to the effect of health. So, Lord, I thank you in advance for your divine wisdom and power as you help this man to be healthy and happy, Amen.”
The man was smiling now and looked relieved. That is when the young man asked me if my incurable demonic cancer had gone in to remission. I said, “Well, the tumors are gone now, so yes, that is one way of putting it.”
He said that was very interestting to him. He was planning to have some surgery to remove the incurable demonic skin cancer from his liver very soon and, after that, he would be shopping around for some remissions to put the tumor in. He asked me where my cancer had gone in to remission.
I told him that remission is not an actual place, but just a diagnostic label used for convenience by certain witch doctors. He said that I was a very smart man and, because of that, I should help lots of people to defeat their incurable cancer by praying that the demon possessing the person with the incurable cancer would find the actual place where the remissions were kept, so that everyone could go in to remission whenever they want.
Somehow keeping a straight face, I thanked him and said “that is a very kind thing to say.” He shrugged and said “well, you know, when you worship incurable demons as long as I have, it really teaches you to be the most compassionate person ever.”