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Pastor’s viewpoint: March 10, 2018

It’s relatively rare, there are only about 200,000 cases/year. Symptoms first appear between the ages of 3 and 11 years of age. The seizures, simply staring into space, last about 10 seconds and often go away as the children get older. You can test for a seizure by saying a word or phrase while the child is staring; if he can’t repeat the word, it was a seizure. If he can, it’s not … maybe he’s just ignoring us? He won’t remember what happens during the seizure, but they immediately resume what they were doing before the seizure.
It’s called “childhood absence epilepsy,” the old name was petit mal epilepsy. The child is asked to hyperventilate, which brings on a seizure in over 80 percent of patients and an EEG shows spikes and wave discharges at 3 cycles per second. The CT scan and MRI will be normal. The cause is mostly genetic and two out of three children respond to treatments … while everyone prays for a cure!
“And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:29-35)
There are two extremes when we talk about Christian healing; the first is unbelief. Some people believe the miracles were confined to the first century and disappeared when the disciples died. Another group believes Christian healing is akin to magic: the healer anoints someone with oil, prays, and people are healed.
The truth is very likely somewhere between those two; I have prayed for people to be healed and made whole for 40 years and I’ve come to believe two things: Jesus heals people today as surely as he healed people in the first century and he heals them in a wide variety of ways. As a scientist, I’d like to explain it and understand it, but I don’t. I simply believe it, because …
Over eight years ago, Jesus healed me of prostate cancer through a miraculous phone call, one of five “gold-level” urologists in America, and 40 radiation treatments. And because the “he” in this story is my grandson!

Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland & Bold Springs UMC and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.