CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©
It’s been hot and humid around the old homestead lately, the old homestead being our modern condo, so I was going through my summer wardrobe, trying to find the cool clothes. And there was the dashiki that Sam Asamoah gave me for healing him.
We had quite a few students from Ghana at Eastern Illinois University when I pastored Wesley UMC in Charleston, and several came to our church. One was Sam, who was a grad student, older than most.
He got sick, sick enough to go to the hospital. Many tests were done. Many medicines were given. None worked. I did not know for a while that Sam was sick, but when someone told me, I did what I always did for any of our folk who went to the hospital. I visited and prayed. Sam immediately got well. He said it was my prayer that did it.
Sort of a typical innocent and naive African understanding of such a thing, I thought.
I picked an African hymn for his first Sunday back at church, one with rhythms that are difficult for Western folks to sing. People always claimed I never picked out hymns they could sing anyway, so it didn’t matter. After church Sam thanked me for healing him and presented the dashiki to me as a gift.
“I bet you liked that hymn, didn’t you?” I said. “Oh, no,” he replied. “I can’t sing that stuff. I grew up in English mission schools. I like God of Our Fathers.”
So much for innocent and naïve Africans.