“Believe!” The word burst from the lips of a short, stout man as he pushed the palm of his hand against a parishioner’s forehead. “Believe and be healed.”
The man gasped as if something happened and he stumbled backwards slightly before righting himself again. He opened his eyes and looked at the healer in front of him.
“I think it worked,” the man shouted. “I feel different. I think you cured my cancer.”
Reaching out to shake the man’s hand, the healer smiled. “You’re welcome brother.” Then turning to the crowd he said, “That’s all I can do for today folks. Please come back tomorrow.” With that he turned and walked off the stage amidst a series of groans and complaints.
The healer walked to his temporary quarters and shut the door behind him. Then he removed his white robe and sat down to fix take off his stage makeup. He was tired; more tired than ever before.
Looking at himself in the mirror, the healer wondered if this one had truly worked. He needed it to work. He believed it could work. Still, he was uncertain. He worried the man might not take the proper precautions and see a doctor anyway. For the hundredth time, Tom Jones wondered if he was doing God’s work or the devil’s.
An ordained minister, Tom believed in God. He yearned to serve him. He thought he’d found a way to do so two years back when he seemingly healed a terminal patient who was one of his parishioners. After that, he had a few more successes. Then they seemingly stopped. The last few people he’d attempted to heal ended up back in the hospital or dead.
Tom bent his head in prayer. “Father, please let me know if I’m off track. You know I don’t want to hurt people. I only want to help. Guide me, Father. Give me a sign.”
A knock at the door disturbed Tom’s prayers. After taking a deep breath, he said, “Come in.” Sandy, one of his part time volunteers, peeked in the door and said, “Your last interview is waiting in your office.”
“Thank you,” Tom sighed. “Please let him know I’ll be right there.”
“This one is a her and not a him,” Sandy stated.
“I thought I made it clear that I only wanted a male assistant,” Tom noted.
“I think you’ll want to see this one,” Sandy returned. “There is something about her.”
“Something that means she’ll leave me in few months to get married or have a baby?” Tom immediately felt guilty for snapping at Sandy. He turned and apologized. “I’m sorry. I’m unusually tired today. It’s put me in a bad mood. Of course I’ll see her.”
Moments later, Tom walked into his office. He hurried around the side of the desk and sat down before looking up to greet his guest. When he did, he immediately understood what Sandy was talking about. The young woman in front of him was unique. Her upper torso and face were covered with tiny scars.
“I got thrown through a windshield when I was a little girl,” the woman stated flatly. “But I assure you I can perform the duties you require. I’m somewhat of a computer whiz. I type 127 words a minute on a bad day. I’m great at organizing and setting appointments. I’m even good with sound equipment.” That done, the woman took in a deep breath.
Tom wasn’t sure why but he found himself saying, “You’ll do just fine. Can you start tomorrow?”
The girl smiled, lighting up the room. “You won’t regret this decision,” she fluttered. “I’ll be the best assistant you ever had.
True to her word, Simone turned out to be just that. She and Tom grew close quickly. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that he thought he noticed a change in her.
“I must be losing my mind,” the healer whispered one afternoon as he and Simone had lunch. “But I’d swear your scars are growing smaller.”
“You probably just didn’t get a good look at them when you interviewed me,” Simone smiled.
Shaking his head, Tom ignored what his eyes told him. “I’m thinking of cancelling the revival,” he stated flatly. “I’m not sure the Lord is with me anymore. I don’t know if my healing powers still work.”
“What makes you think that?” Simone turned to study her friend’s eyes.
“It’s just a feeling. I mean no one has called to call me a charlatan or anything. I just ‘feel’ different.”
“You are wrong about your healing powers,” Simone emphasized. “Don’t cancel the revival, please.”
Tom stared at her for a moment. As he did, something in his heart changed. He found himself nodding. “You’re right of course. I have to keep the faith.”
A week later the revival began and Tom threw himself into his work with gusto. He healed five people on the first night.
Bursting from the stage, Tom looked for Simone’s smiling face but she was nowhere to be found.
“She had to go home. Her mother was ill,” Sandy offered. “Don’t worry, she’ll be back tomorrow.”
Simone was already in the office working steadily when Tom arrived. He smiled at her and shared the results of the previous evening. “God was with me. I felt Him,” Tom cried happily. “It was amazing.”
“I’m sure,” Simone finally raised her head to stare at her boss. When she did, Tom sharply took in a breath. There it was again. It appeared that Simone’s scars had grown smaller and less noticeable. The moment took him aback but he decided not to bring the subject up again.
Days passed and with each healing, Tom could see Simone’s scars diminish. By the last night, he was giddy to think they might finally disappear for good.
“You wanted a sign,” Simone smiled as she helped Tom put on his robe. “You wanted to know if your healings were still working,” she said softly. “Now you can see the truth of your work.”
Tom turned to take in Simone’s expression. He gasped when he saw her. All around her body there was a light amber glow.
“I’m an angel, Tom. God sent me to you to renew your failing faith. This is the work he wants you to do. It is the work you were born to do. Now go and finish what you started. I’ll be here when you get back.”
Without a word, Tom did as he was told. He found his heart lightened, his soul full of faith and his mind reeling with excitement. With each person he healed, Tom remembered to add, “Praise God for it is He, not I, who performs this miracle.”
Once the evening was done, Tom hurried back to his office. True to her word, Simone was sitting at her desk. Every inch of her body was clear of scars. She looked remarkably beautiful.
“Thank you, Tom,” Simone said with a smile. “I carried those scars from my life into my afterlife. I didn’t understand why at the time. Everyone else was young and beautiful again. I was just “me”.
“You’ve always been beautiful to me,” Tom stated truthfully. “Your scars didn’t mar that beauty Simone.”
“I understand that now,” the young woman nodded. “Still, it is good that I don’t have to carry them anymore. God always had a plan and that plan was you.”
“What does this all mean?” Tom felt disheartened.
“You mean, do I stay or go? I must go, of course. I don’t belong in this realm anymore,” Simone sighed. “It is for the living.”
“So I’ll never see you again?” Tom’s countenance grew dark and unhappy.
“I’ll always be with you, Tom. I’ll come back if you need a reminder here and there. But, no, you won’t see me like this.”
“I love you, Simone.” The words burst from Tom’s lips. He found he could not stop them.
“I know,” she whispered. “There is someone else for you, though. You will meet her soon. Be sure to pay attention.” With that the angel faded away.
His faith renewed, Tom continued his work. He missed his once constant companion but managed to push thoughts of Simone from his conscious mind. He hesitated to hire a new assistant and waited a month before doing so.
Then “she” walked into his office. Her name was Mary. She wasn’t beautiful according to society norms but there was something about her that caught Tom’s attention. She was intelligent, compassionate, sweet and caring. It wasn’t long before he knew that Mary was the “she” of which Simone had spoken.
With Mary by this side, Tom went on doing his work. He lived to a ripe old age, healing with God’s power until the very end. On his death bed, he was surprised to see an old friend come to greet him. It was Simone.
“You can come home now, Tom. You have done well. God is pleased with you. He wants to welcome you into his arms.”
At last, Tom and Simone were reunited. It was a day Tom had dreamed of since her parting. He had two great loves in his life. Tom Jones died a very happy man.