“Seeing Is Believing,” Nov. 3, 2020

(NOTE: I’m taking off this week. This column is from 2017.)

Most of us need to heal once in a while. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Sometimes it’s all the above. For some of us, the hardest part of healing is simply to believe that it’s possible.

Years ago, I was watching my oldest (who played on a high school basketball team coached by his dad) practice free throws. The boy was good. He made a dozen shots, swishing through the net without a miss.

“How do you do that?” I said.

He grinned and kept shooting. “Before I release the ball,” he said, bouncing it twice, then holding it up and pausing to stare at the hoop, “I see it in my mind going through the net.”

He released, and swish! “I see it in my mind,” he said, “to make it happen.”

I loved those words. It struck me that they might also be said for healing. We need to believe healing can happen, picture it in our minds, to see it in reality. It’s not a guarantee. The boy missed on occasion. He wasn’t happy about that. But he made far more shots than he missed.

I, on the other hand, can shoot free throws all day, picture each one going through the net, and miss nine out of 10. But if I don’t believe I can make at least one, why would I bother to try?

Belief doesn’t assure us of the outcome we hope for. But it sets us in motion to move toward it.

My late husband, the coach who taught the boy to shoot free throws, ran a marathon before he was 50. A year later, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and given six months to live.

By the grace of God and a firm belief that healing was possible, he stretched those six months into four years. He worked hard to heal. At the same time he also learned to accept and let go.

When he could no longer coach, he sat in the stands and pulled for his players. When he could no longer run, he walked. When he could no longer walk, he lay on the sofa and welcomed a blessed stream of visitors.

It wasn’t the kind of healing that we had prayed for. And yet, I watched his spirit heal, even as his body was dying.

After he died, my children and I tried to honor all that he had taught us. We grieved our loss, treasured his memory and moved forward with our lives.

Healing begins when we let go of the past, accept the present and believe that, in the future, all things are possible.

A few years ago, I had surgery for a broken ankle and spent eight weeks in a wheelchair. At the end of those eight weeks, I expected to start walking again. That didn’t happen. My ankle didn’t hurt much, but it didn’t want to bend. And other things hurt plenty: My back, hip, knee.

So I started going to physical therapy a few times a week. It wasn’t fun. But I believed it could help, so I kept at it.

Just when it seemed I’d never again walk without a limp, guess what? I quit limping. And started dancing. In the kitchen. And the grocery store. To music that kept playing in my head.

I wish you could’ve seen me.

When hope grows dim, believing lights the way and makes all things possible.

Recently I heard from several wounded souls. One mourned the loss of her father: “I miss him so much,” she said.

Another described the heartbreak of her mother’s Alzheimer’s: “She doesn’t know she has daughters.”

And another spoke of the struggles in her marriage, saying simply, “It is hard.”

One by one, I tried to feel their pain, to carry it for them, if only for a while. Then I pictured each of them healing. I saw it clearly.

I hope they could see it, too.

We need to believe healing is possible, for ourselves and each other—and even for our country. If we can see it in our minds and feel it in our hearts and believe it in our souls, we can let go of the past, accept the present and begin to move forward with our lives.

Look. Can you see it?


  1. Kate Sciacca says

    A perfect column for this week. And a blessed and deserved rest for you. Our cheerleader 🙂
    Enjoy the break 🙂

  2. You always seem to say what I need to hear.
    Thank you.

  3. Shari Strider says

    Well said! For our country to heal, we must all see it in our minds and believe it in our hearts!

  4. With God we will gain the Victory. All things are possible with God!

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