EARLY ONE FALL DAY EIGHT YEARS AGO, Freidoon (an Iranian friend visiting us from Australia) and I left Albuquerque, New Mexico, headed for the Bay Area in Northern California where we both had plans to visit relatives and attend meetings. We took turns at the steering wheel every two to three hours as we drove westward across New Mexico and Arizona. Freidoon was on sabbatical leave from an Australian university to observe community health programs in multicultural settings like New Mexico. Although his Muslim faith differed in many respects from my faith—Christianity—our conversations were always positive, converging on broad principles rather than focusing on our differences.
A few days prior to leaving on this three-day trip, I experienced unrelenting pains in the lower abdomen, apparently in the prostate gland. I had difficulty eliminating freely and found evidence of infection and bleeding, all symptoms sometimes associated with prostate dysfunction in older men. I considered canceling the trip, but with the prayerful help of a Christian Science practitioner, along with my own and my wife's prayers, I felt some relief and my condition improved somewhat. Although I still felt the need for prayerful support, I decided to make the trip and trust fully in God's healing power.
I felt certain that leaving home in the company of someone who might not understand my desire to rely on the healing power of the Christ should not in any way cause me uneasiness or doubt about attaining a complete healing through prayer. I thought of the Apostle Paul's strong declaration: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Rom. 8:35).