Healing the Boy
One day, Timothy, the older son of the woman Efimia, whom the elder Nicholas baptized once, fell seriously ill.
The child was in coma. The body was blazing with fever, which did not subside for over one day.
The daughter of Efimia Dunyasha helped around the house and took care of everything, and Efimia herself seemed to have broken… She resigned herself to the death of her son and only blamed herself for her sins and lamented quietly, kneeling before the icon.
But Alexey resolutely fought for the life of the child…
He brought honey, ordered to infuse herbs, which the elder Nicholas dried and taught to cook for various ailments.
Alexey himself prayed tirelessly and tried to let through the hands that Light of God which he felt in the spiritual heart…
Sometimes it seemed to him that only his hands retained life in the body of the child… But miraculous healing by prayer did not happen…
Alexey saw the Divine Light and felt the Presence of God more than ever! All his strength he tried to put into prayers… But the boy continued to rave… He wheezed and gasped in coughing spells, moaned slightly, then fell into an even deeper coma, and it seemed that now the soul will part with the exhausted body…
The boy’s life seemed to be held back by the efforts that Alexey applied, but all the time there was a feeling that a little more — and it would end…
Alexey continued to pray — intensely, out of last strength. He almost did not expect a miracle, but stubbornly persisted:
“Jesus! What am I doing wrong? Here — I see Your Light and I know that You are Omnipresent and Omnipotent, Caring and Gracious! Why do You not heal the boy? If the reason is my pride, in which I desired to be equal with Your apostles in the great skills — then punish me for it but not a child! For my imperfection — do not punish him! Or is my faith weak? But the child is not guilty — for my imperfections! Why do You not allow Your Power to heal him? Your Omnipotence knows no bounds!”
Alexey reproached himself when he diverted from the standard prayers — to a free speech to Jesus. Then he prayed again and again, then tried to direct his bold appeals to the Heavenly Father, tried to recall all the Saints, whose prayers, as they say, were miraculously healing… The Presence of God was so strong and bright!… It seemed to grow, approaching… But the miracle did not happen…
Suddenly there was a knock at the door.
Dunyasha, the sister of a sick boy, opened it without even asking “Who?”.
The surprisingly beautiful young woman stood on the threshold.
It seemed to Alexey that the Shining Light came from the stranger. Or was it simply that the fresh frosty wind burst into the hot air of the hut through the doorway — and the sunshine flashed around the newcomer?…
The stranger bowed to the owners with the earthly bow, touching the floor by the tips of the fingers.
Alexey thought she tensed for a moment, seeing his monastic clothes…
Then she spoke quietly by a soft heart voice:
“My name is Rada, I’m a healer. I’ll cure the boy.”
… Alexey, staggering with fatigue, rose from his knees, giving way to the patient’s bed.
Rada came. She took off her street clothes and remained in a light-brown shirt with red embroidery on her collar and on her sleeves; the attire was intercepted at the thin waist with a woven cloth. Her thick brown hair was braided into a braid below the waist. Eyes — gray-blue, calm and affectionate. Only for a moment, Alexey met her gaze, and remembered the smallest details the beautiful face.
Rada approached the patient, put her hands on his chest and on the head. She stood there for several minutes, her body seemed to be frozen.
Alexey saw the Divine Light: the bright Shining of the White-Golden Light filled everything. This Light streamed through Rada’s body and filled the body of the sick boy.
Alexey went out into the stoop and sat down on the bench… The immaterial Light was everywhere around and did not stop shining. Alexey seemed to have fallen into this Light. Everything disappeared from his perception — in the Peace and Bliss of Light… He knew that everything now would be alright…
Alexey woke up because Dunyasha was tugging his sleeve:
“Timothy has recovered! Very, very healthy! Look, look! God helped! You treated, then Rada cured all! Mama does not cry anymore! Just look!”
… On the bed sat smiling Timothy. Efimia wanted to spoon-feed him soup, but he himself began to eat… The woman was wiping tears of gratitude.
“And where is the healer, where is Rada?” — asked Alexey.
“She left in the evening. As the fever of Timothy was reduced — and broke… She said that she had cured. We were afraid that in the morning it could be bad again, but he is healthy all! She said that he will be healthy! The Miracle of the Lord was created!”
Mother of the boy Efimia crossed herself and passionately whispered prayers.
Alexey himself also knelt before the icon and thanked God for the revealed miracle.
* * *
Then he walked slowly to the hermitage and was still thinking about the one called Rada, about the one who easily healed the dying child — like Jesus and His apostles:
“So — this is possible! Who is she? Where from? Who taught her this? Is it possible to learn as well?”
[To be continued.]