|The Healing Touch
- I believed."
- Lewis' wife Linda affirms
that she and her husband have both received healings of an emotional
nature, from such afflictions as anxiety and depression. Explaining
that they had "gone through some rough periods," the
residents of mansion Hill in Kentucky return to the monthly services
for the inspiration they receive.
- In many instances, that
inspiration comes from observing healings in action.
- "I was there the
night Dr. Keller's arm grew (see accompanying story)," Linda
recalls. "I say it happen. something like that
increases your faith. Every time we go to a healing
service, we feel
- better about ourselves and life. We feel more
connected to God.
- Lord here I am. Reach
out your hand ....Lord, touch me. I'm ready. Make me
- It's nice, of course -
even miraculous, you might say - when the Lord's touch is immediate
and the cure, instant. But Patricia cautions that oftentimes
the healing touch comes through other human beings and that
patience is necessary.
- "God is the great physician," he
acknowledges. "but oftentimes the Lord works through
others. Spiritual healing involves the ministries of many
disciplines, she says, emphasizing that she always encourages people
to continue to follow the instructions of their doctors.
"Many times a healing will come about through a physician or a
new medication, for instance."
- Patricia recalled a number
of instances where individuals who attended a healing service wer4e
- roundabout ways, to the right doctor or the right
diagnosis. When 29-year-old Cathie Eckert, for instance,
attended the service, it was in hopes that she would be released
from the fatigue headaches and emotional distress that had altered
her lifestyle. She had been told by her doctor that she was a
victim of stress.
- Someone in the audience
suggested she might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and
recommended a physician who was helping patients cope with the
symptoms of the condition. After a visit to the new doctor and
lab tests confirmed that chronic fatigue syndrome was, indeed, the
culprit, Eckert was better able to deal with the situation.
While her physical healing would come only with time, she had
experienced an emotional healing in having been given a diagnosis.
pharmacology, counseling and so on all become meaningful and
significant through the power of the Holy Spirit," she
says. "so, yes, you can come here and ask for a healing;
and you may receive it on the spot. But not always. In
many cases, the Spirit will lead you to your healing. It may
not be a direct route and it may take some time."
It may also take a change in lifestyle. "It's one thing to
come here and receive a healing," Dr. Bednarczuk
explains, implying there is a very practical side to this
healing business. "It's another thing to make it
lasting. Say you are healed of a stomach problem, but then go
out and continue to eat a lousy diet smoke and get no
exercise. It's likely you problem will return. Any
healing implies a certain responsibility on the part of the
- Ideally, that
responsibility should start even before the healing service.
- Referencing Hippocrates,
the father of modern medicine, Dr. Bednarczuk likes to talk about
the healing temples of ancient times. "Hippocrates believed in
spiritual healing," the optometrist said explaining that
the Hippocratic symbol (the staff with the intertwining snakes)
"depicts two energies intertwining along the spine. The
sun symbolizes enlightenment; and the wings, the higher self.
- Over the ages, this notion of spiritual
healing was suppressed by physicians.
he continued, "brought the information from the higher self to
heal people. He would prepare his patients to receive a
healing by encouraging them to fast, to purify their bodies and
- Today, Dr. Bednarczuk
explained, "We can prepare ourselves to receive a healing by
purifying our minds. We must prepare our mind by giving up any
negative thoughts we might have and then ask god for a
- Admitting that up until a
few years ago, he was "turned off by religion," the
optometrist says he has had his own spiritual awakening. "I
question. I probe. I research," he explained. "The
more you question such (metaphysical) things, the more signs you
get. Eventually the intellect becomes a barrier. Real
faith involves going beyond the intellect.
- "People often ask me
how I, a medically oriented person, can explain the transformations
that take place," he said. "I can't explain
intellectually. I just know.'
- By Rose Huber
- For EastSide Weekend
- For years, 30-year-old Rob
Lewis suffered from chronic headaches.
Oftentimes the attacks were so intense that the accompanying double
vision and nausea were debilitating. Various doctors
speculated his condition was stress related; but none could offer an
underlying reason or a lasting cure.
the last four months, he has been virtually headache-free...
Because of a nasty fall, 48-year-old Beryl Hanson was living with
daily pain, with slight relief coming from the muscle relaxants her
physician had prescribed.
- For the last few weeks, she
has been able to get out of bed i the morning without the
energy-zapping pains and cramps in her knees and legs. And she
has thrown away her pain killers...
longer than she cares to remember 70-year-old ruby Bates was a
victim of arthritis and high blood pressure. Her pain was
constant; and she was a slave to 500 mg. of diuretics a day.
Today, both her pain and her drugs are history.
you expect these people to talk about their cures in terms of some
modern-day medical break-through, you looking in the wrong
Their transformations, rather, spring from among the most ancient of
curative techniques - spiritual healing.
to be confused with faith healing (which often evokes images of
out-of-control healess and circus tent theatrics), true spiritual
healing is both sane and controlled.
What's more, it's proponents insist, it's effective.
While many area churches have offered low-key spiritual healing
services for years, last fall Cincinnati's Hope Ministries began a
healing mission that has grown to such an extent that the
non-denominational services attract persons from all over the
tri-state area and beyond.
by the Rev. Patricia Mischell and her husband (optometrist Dr. Keith
Bednarczuk), the Evening of spiritual Healing is held the second
Wednesday of each month beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Positive
Living Center on Vine Street near Wyoming. (The June service,
however will be held the first Wednesday.)
While the attendance averages 30 to 35, there have been as many as
75 at one gathering. They come from all ages and walks of life
- from young children to senior citizens; from blue collar workers
to white collar professionals, including those from the field of
Some come out of deep faith; others, strictly out of curiosity.
most come to be healed. those who seek relief from some
condition of body, mind and /or spirit look to the founder of Hope
Ministries, many believing she has been blessed with a special
gift. But "Patricia," as her followers call her,
shuns any reference to her own healing powers.
"We have to know that I'm not the healer," emphasizes the
minister, explaining that after memberships in the Catholic,
Methodist and Presbyterian churches over the years, she was ordained
through the Universal Life Church. "It's in God's
hands," she says. "The Holy Spirit works
through us. Keith and I are only instruments"
During the 30 to 40 minute homily that opens each healing service,
Patricia talks freely about the curative powers of the divine -
sprinkling her commentary with both traditional Biblical quotes and
stories about how Jesus healed the sick as well as with such New Age
vocabulary as "universal power" and "healing
- Oftentimes her informal
remarks include references to her own recovery from crippling
rheumatoid arthritis almost 20 years ago. "I was very sick,'
she tells her congregation. "I was
- one step away from a
- wheelchair. I was on
Welfare. My three children were on ADC.
"One evening I was sitting home alone and crying, feeling very
sorry from myself," she continues. "My sister came
over and said she had someone she wanted to take me to - a
72-year-old minister and spiritualist who could help me. 'If
this is one of those psychics, forget it!' I told her. 'I'll
just lose my 45.'"
Because she felt she had no other options, however, Patricia agreed
to see the late Rev. Emiel Schmidt. "He had a church over
in Westwood," she said. "He prayed with
me. He introduced me to prayer and meditation, to the works of
people like Norman Vincent Peale and Dr. Joseph Murphy (The Power of
the Subconscious Mind)."
Perhaps even more significantly, he reintroduced her to the Bible.
months, Patricia, (by now a semi-invalid) read Scripture and other
books, meditated and recited daily affirmations (I am perfect.
I am whole. I am healthy. y body is the temple of the living
Lord. I do not accept this diagnosis of incurable disease.)
Within six months, she was in remission.
thanksgiving for her own healing, Patricia began to spread her faith
- - first with groups of
friends she invited to her home for prayer and discussion and
eventually as a teacher, counselor, lecturer and author. From
the beginning, she emphasized not only the healing nature of God,
but also the power within each individual - a two-fold message which
is at the basis of her ministry.
"If you came here tonight looking for a miracle, in terms of
physical healing alone, that's not what it's all about,"
she tells those who have gathered for the laying on of
"True spiritual healing involves much more. It is a
ministry to the whole person - body, mind and spirit. If you
have a hardened heart, then you must release whatever binds you so
that the Holy Spirit can move through you. "Throughout their ministry, both Patricia and her husband
emphasize the power f the Holy Spirit. In the prayer before
the actual healing ceremony, both invoke the Holy Spirit to
"Fill those here tonight with your power and love.
Open their minds and their hearts so that they may truly feel your
presence and experience the healing they desire."
- Working as a team,
Patricia and Dr. Bednarczuk minister to those who move forward for
the laying on a of hands. A 12- year-old girl asks to be
healed of the thyroid condition which is causing weight problems; an
attractive 20-something woman requests a release from the
hypoglycemia which has altered her lifestyle; a robust 40-ish man
seeks relief from chronic back pain.
- After Patricia lays hands
and asks the Holy Spirit to move through each one, Dr. Bednarczuk
symbolically blows on the forehead, asking the person to
"receive the breath of the Holy Spirit."
- In some cases, those
receiving a healing are so overcome with emotions that they begin to
sway, oftentimes falling backward. "This is called being
slain in the Spirit," Patricia said, explaining that she always
has "catchers" available, just in case.
- "There's nothing
magical or eerie about this," she emphasized. "Very
controlled persons will generally not be affected in this way.
Many, however, are so moved with the emotion of the moment and the
sense of release they often feel through prayer, that they do get
woozy or fall backward. They are simply in an extremely
- It's easy to be overcome
with the emotion of the evening. While young and old file up
for the laying on of hands, inspirational music provides a moving
backdrop, with each service featuring Touch Me, a song written and
performed especially for the healing ministry by Linda Conover.
- Touch me. Please hear my prayers and touch
me. Heal me. I have complete faith in your. For I
believe you truly love me. Lord, touch me... I'm ready to be
- While it would seem that
such readiness and faith should work in favor of someone desiring a
- Patricia implies that the
Lord sometimes works in strange ways. "I've seen people
of deep faith come for a healing and it might take months for their
prayers to be answered," she acknowledges. "I
encourage them to keep asking, to keep coming back. Then there
are some who come in totally skeptical and they walk away without
- Jamaica native Beryl
Hanson was one of those. "a friend invited me to the
healing ministry," explained the Roselawn resident. "I was
skeptical. I admit it. I was raised in a religious
environment, but I still questioned this healing. I didn't
know what it was all abut. I'd see some of these ministers on
TV and think, 'Oh, they can't really heal people that way.'"
- Like many others before
and after her, Beryl Hanson became a believer - but not immediately.
- Explaining that she
"let Patricia do her thing," Hanson returned home that
evening feeling so different. "About three or four hours later,
I was awakened with a warm feeling that flooded over me," she
recalls. "It felt like hands crawling all over my body, almost
as if I were paralyzed. I fell asleep wondering what in the
world was happening to me."
- The next morning, she felt
different upon awakening. The pain was gone. for the
first time in months, she was able to go to her job at a local
nursing home without discomfort. "It hasn't bothered me
since" she insists.
- How do you explain such
things? "You don't. You take it on
faith," explains Rob Lewis who works in mass marketing for a
publishing firm. Along with his wife Linda, he has experienced
healings of both body and spirit. Detailing his release from
chronic headaches, Lewis says he initially approached the healing
service with faith. "I don't think it would have
happened if I had just walked in off the street," he
says. "My faith was such that