“Duck-tour! Listen! I have something to tell you” Tootsie announced as she came into my office.
I turned away from my computer. “What’s going on, Tootsie?”
“This is so interesting. I don’t know what to think. I have this friend. We are friends for a while. He a gay guy. He work down the street. He and his partner came to my wedding 2 months ago.
“Well, today his partner phone me and ask to meet him. My friend, he very sick with fever and shaking and tired all the time. He’s been sick for weeks. He can barely go to work. He try to go to 7 or 8 different doctors, but they can’t tell what wrong with him. They just give him medicine, but nothing gets better. He just stay in bed all the time.”
She continued, “so, yesterday they take him to a monk at the temple and ask what can they do? And the monk, he listen to his story and then say to them, ‘you’ve been to a wedding recently.’ And they say, ‘ya, we went up north to our friend Tootsie’s wedding.’
“So, the monk, say that he must have got some bad spirit. He blessed some water and give it to them and told them to call me and ask me to bring some piece of jewelry to put in the water and then splash my friend with it.”
“His partner want me to meet him after work down the street. I don’t know what to believe. It seems so scary, but I want to help if I can.”
“Tootsie,” I asked, “you don’t have to give them any jewelry do you? That sounds suspicious.”
“No, Duck-tour. I think they just borrow it”
“Wow, that sounds really amazing. If you go, let me know what happens. But, be careful.”
The following day, she passed me in the hall. “You know, I go meet my friend partner. I gave him my ring and he wash it in the water. He say, he was scared I wasn’t going to come, so he thank me a lot for helping. I just say I want to be helpful and I hope my friend got better.”
She laughed. “You know, I tell my husband and he shivered and put on an extra amulet for protection!”
Late the following week, Tootsie delivered some mail. “You know, after I meet my friend’s partner, that night he go home and sprinkle on the water and that night, my friend, he sleep through the night for the first time. And the next morning, he wake up and no fever or shaking. Yesterday, he went back to work for the first time in a couple weeks. He feel stronger each day”
The skeptic inside me stepped down the hall for a coffee. “Wow! That is kind of amazing! 8 doctors and no cure. But blessed jewelry water and he’s cured!?”
“Yes! It seems like it.”
I asked, “So, he must have to make quite an offering to the temple, right?”
“Next week, they will both go and make an offering to give thanks. But, I’m happy if I was able to help him.
She walked away and the skeptic returned. He and I had discussed the natural course of an illness and the profound power of the placebo effect as well as power of faith and the things we cannot yet explain.