The Group

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Sarah Mann called her healing group to order.  “C’mon guys, we’ve got to stop horsing around.”
The noise level in the room only increased. “C’mon, c’mon,” she called out, “we don’t have all night!”

Jessica Greystone watched from the sidelines and waited.  She didn’t know what to expect, but she was ready for anything.  There were about eight or nine people, she could not get an accurate account, everyone was milling around too much and the room was not that spacious.  But eight was close enough.  While she waited for things to settle down, she thought back to the conversation she overheard which brought her to this meeting.

* * *

healing-groupIt was the night she rushed into Children’s Hospital in Boston to support a co-worker whose eight-year-old son was one of the victims in a massive traffic pileup when the school bus he was riding in skidded into a tractor-trailer truck.  The emergency room was crowded with anxious parents and injured children.  The last of the ambulances had come and gone and parents were trying to comfort and calm their frightened children.   Jessica reached her friend and learned the boy was critical and in the operating room.  She put her arm around her friend’s shoulder and waited with her.

Several other distraught parents were staring at the different operating room doors waiting.   Jessica wasn’t really eavesdropping, she just happened to hear the conversation taking place around her.

“Don’t worry,” she heard the man’s voice say, “He will come through safe.  You’ll see.   Sarah has his picture and The Group is concentrating on him now.  They will send him the energy he needs to sustain him.  Have patience. God willing, he will come through this just fine.”

Jessica looked around.  She saw the anxious mother with her friends and wondered what on earth they were talking about.  An hour went by, then as another was ticking away, the operating room door swung open and everyone turned to look. A young boy was wheeled out followed by a happy but extremely puzzled doctor.

The mother rushed forward, “Doctor…my son…,” the words barely out of her mouth before the doctor spoke.

“He’s fine,” the doctor answered with a huge smile.  Then looking down, and shaking his head, with a definite look of bewilderment on his face added, “For an interminable period of anguish, I really thought we had lost him, but all of a sudden…,” he looked up at the mother and said, “it was as if he had been given a tremendous boost of energy…and we knew then, he was home free.”

The doctor shook his head.  “I don’t understand what happened or how, but I don’t care.  Whatever it is I pray it stays with me until I get all of these kids through this nightmare.”

“See,” the man said unwavering to the boy’s mother, “I told you The Group could do it.”

“Yes,” the mother smiled, “The Group and the Lord. Thank the good Lord and thank the Lord for the Group!”

“Amen,” her friends all chorused.

* * *

“Excuse me,” Jessica interrupted, forcing her way in.  “I couldn’t help hearing… The Group?  What is The Group?”

“Who wants to know?” the man asked.

“I do.”

“Well, who are you?”

“Jessica Greystone.  Investigative Reporter for WBZTV Channel 4.”

“Oh, yeah.  Now I recognize you.”

“Well?”

“Well, what?”

“The Group!  Who or what is the Group?”

“They’re the ones who helped save my son’s life,” the boy’s mother answered.

“How?”

“You heard the doctor.”

“Yes. I heard him.  But I don’t believe it.  Tell me about it.”

The mother looked around.  Took a small notepad out of her pocketbook, wrote down an address, tore it off and handed it to Jessica.  “If you really want to know, be there Wednesday Night at 7:00 p.m. and dress comfortably,” she added with a smile.

The mother went to her son, her friends said their goodbyes, and walked away leaving Jessica standing alone, completely flabbergasted, holding a hand-written piece of paper with an address she had never seen before on it.

* * *

The following Wednesday, Jessica drove toward the address scribbled on the note, which was handed to her at the hospital and began to wonder if she was on a fool’s mission.  She seriously considered turning around, but the seeming miracle at the hospital came crashing back to her, compelling her onward toward her destination and to the answers to her questions.

When she arrived she realized she was the last one there.  The others were milling around waiting for everyone to settle down and for the meeting to begin. She was greeted by all and shown to a seat where she could watch the proceedings. As she looked around the room at the attendees her thoughts drifted back to that moment at the hospital when she eavesdropped on their conversation and first heard about the Group.

“Who’s got the picture?”  Sarah asked, startling Jessica back to the present.

“I have!” a voice in the middle of the room said.

“Bring it up here and let’s have a look,” Sarah sighed.

The voice passed the picture to the person next to her and the picture began its quiet journey to the leader of The Group.  “Okay, now has everyone seen the photo?”   Sarah asked.

“Yes!” The Group chorused.

“Let’s get to work.”
A transformation seemed to take place.  Everyone grabbed a pillow, picked their spot on the floor and sat down so as to form a large circle.  Soft spiritual, almost ethereal music began to fill the room from the disc player along the wall.  Everyone held hands.

Jessica watched the play unfold before her.  From a happy, boisterous group, the people went about their appointed tasks as quickly and as effortlessly as possible.  In minutes they were sitting cross-legged on the floor and began to bring their energies to focus on the picture one of them had brought to the meeting.

“Oh!”  Sarah interrupted The Group.  “Everyone knows what were doing here and why — right?”  She looked around the room and waited.

“Not really,” one small voice said.

“I don’t either,” Jessica volunteered.

“Humph,” Sarah sighed.  “Everybody relax while I fill these two in.”

The Group laughed, stretched their arms and legs, sipped some water from the glasses next to each of them, rearranged their pillows and readjusted other slight discomforts while Sarah explained what their project for the evening was.

“As most of you know, this is a picture of Rosa’s niece, Angel.”  Sarah held the picture up for all to see.  “She’s been very sick for some time, and nothing seems to be helping. Rosa thought if we all put our minds to it, we might be able to lift Angel’s spirits and help her get well.  After all, no little kid should be sad or sick at Christmas — right!”

“Right!” they all chorused.

“Wait a minute,” Jessica interrupted.  “How do you know it’s going to work?”

“We’re not worried,” Sarah sighed quietly smiling, “but just in case Rosa’s going to call and let us know.”

“How?”

“See that phone over there,” Sarah asked tossing her head in the direction of the phone.

“Yes.”

“That’s how. Okay, everybody…”

“You didn’t answer my question,” Jessica said a bit perturbed.

“Look,” Sarah said quietly.  “We haven’t got time to go into that now.  Just look and listen. Okay?”

“Okay,” Jessica nodded.

The Group settled down into their pillows, crossed their legs, then offered their prayers up to the Lord and asked for His help in their attempt to lift a young child spirits and hopefully help to heal her. They began again to focus their energies on the picture and the name of the child Sarah had placed in the center of the circle.   Sarah turned the disc player back on and proceeded to lead her healing group through the series of meditation prayers.  There was what was known as the ‘grounding’ meditations, the ‘protection’ meditations of surrounding themselves with a ‘white light’, then the ‘opening’ of their hearts to one another and to the picture and name of the child in the center of the circle.

***

Jessica watched fascinated.  As the strains of the delicate music of ocean waves, birds, and the quiet sounds of the heavens and nature filled the room, it was obvious to her everyone was focusing on the child in question.

“Dear God,” she thought, “I hope this really works.”

She could feel the heat, the energy in the room, a presence she couldn’t explain and found herself focusing her energies on the child and praying silently for her recovery.  Not a sound escaped from The Group, but a light seemed to emanate from them encompassing all in the circle.  The light grew stronger and the heat more intense and the presence all-encompassing as the time progressed.

Suddenly the phone rang and everyone jumped.   Sarah rose slowly and picked up the phone on the third ring.  “Yes,” she said quietly.

“Yes, I see,” she nodded solemnly while everyone held their breaths and watched.

“Yes, I will tell them.”

She turned toward The Group and smiled.  “Rosa is crying, but they are happy tears. Rosa said Angel is awake and hungry.  She Blesses and thanks all of you and wishes all of us a very Merry Christmas.”

The Group hugged each other, cheered and chorused, “Merry Christmas!”

Sarah hung the phone up, turned to Jessica and said, “See?”  Jessica nodded.

“It’s amazing what the eight of you accomplished,” Jessica said, tears forming in her eyes.

“You don’t understand, Jessica,” Sarah said, there were nine of us here tonight.”

“But I only counted eight. That is not including me.”

“The ninth was here in spirit only. He is the one who guides us in our work.  You don’t really think we could do this alone without Him do you?”

“I really didn’t think about that.  I only thought about the eight of you.”

“Yes,” Sarah smiled, as did the others, “that’s what most people think. But we know better.”

“I guess you do,” Jessica said with a smile.  “No wonder I felt the same presence as the rest of you did.”

“Now you know what we do and why.”

“It’s a wonderful thing you do and I’m sure my listeners would be happy to hear about your little group.”

“Thanks, guys,” Sarah said.  “You’ve all done real good tonight. You made a little girl and her aunt extremely happy and gave them the best Christmas Present they could ever want.

May the Good Lord Bless and Keep you all in His Loving Hands, and my wishes to all of you are for A Very Merry Christmas.”

“And we to you Sarah!  A Very Merry Christmas!

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