Boston Noon Hour:
Awe and Wonder
Boston MA (March 6, 2007) David Manuel writes: As you know, last December, my co-steward of the Boston Noon Hour, Alex Canavan, was diagnosed with colon cancer. As it had recurred for the third time in the same place, the prognosis could not have been less promising.
We went into prayer. You prayed, we prayed, Alex prayed, we all prayed – often with the laying on of hands.
From the beginning, Alex’s faith never wavered; in fact, the further he went into the shadow valley, the firmer his faith became. God had told him, as He had told a number of us, that He was going to heal Alex, though it would be a long process.
When he went in for surgery at Mass General, the surgeon discovered that it was far worse than anticipated. There was a mass behind his sacrum at the base of his spine, where it had been hidden for years from the CAT scans. The doctors decided to shrink it as much as possible with focused radiation.
At the next Noon Hour, while Alex was in hospital, we came against the cancer with spiritual radiation, focusing with our prayers on all aspects of his healing. At the end of the hour, God gave me a word which I shrank back from declaring. It was too explicit, too extreme. But I checked it with Basil, who had gotten the same word.
So with more holy boldness than I really felt, I declared that Alex would be totally and completely healed, and that his healing would be one of many miracles associated with what God was about to do in Boston. Afterwards, Dick O came up to me and said that if I hadn’t declared that word, he would have. Because he’d been given the exact same word.
Last Wednesday Alex attended the Noon Hour. He looked good and felt great. Leading the worship with gusto and exuberance, he was the old Alex – and then some. But that night, the bleeding from his rectum, which had gone on for weeks, built to a crescendo. He was up all night with the heavy bleeding which continued into the morning. Though he refused to dwell on it, he began to wonder if this was the beginning of the end.
Later in the morning he got a call from an old friend out in Seattle, Ronnie Svenhards, whom he had not seen or heard from, since they were together at the world convention of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International fourteen years ago. Ronnie, who had been International Vice President of the FGBMFI, when Alex was an International Director, had learned of Alex’s condition from Diane Scott, executive secretary to Demos Shakarian, the late founder of FGBFMI. She did not tell Ronnie the nature or location of Alex’s cancer, only that it was life-threatening.
As Ronnie went into prayer for Alex, the Lord abruptly directed him to Mark 5:25-34 – the account of the woman with the issue of blood, who had been suffering from it for twelve years. The moment she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she was healed. After Ronnie finished reading it, the Lord told him to call Alex and tell him that the Lord was giving Alex that Scripture as a gift.
Alex thanked Ronnie, but several hours passed before he realized that he was no longer bleeding. Not a drop. It has not recurred – and it has been six days.
Wisdom might dictate keeping silent for a season. “Let’s make sure the bleeding really has stopped. We don’t want to get everyone’s hopes up, only to have them dashed. Besides, if you hold up Alex as an example of God’s miraculous healing power, you’re only inviting the devil to take him down. And don’t go overboard prophesying complete healing for him. If he dies, you’ll look like a fool.”
But that would be conventional wisdom. What we're dealing with here, and have been from the beginning, is highly unconventional wisdom. Supernatural wisdom. If Alex and I had been careful, if we had heeded the counsel of cautious friends, we would never have started the Noon Hour. What could be more ridiculous than to think that in the stressed-out marketplace, anyone would have time to give an hour in the middle of their busy day in the middle of the work week, to just come and pray.
Speaking for myself, I’ve already burned all my bridges behind me. If I turn out to be a false prophet, it will be a relief. (Nobody in their right mind would want to be a prophet.) Meantime, we'll just keep on keeping on. Here’s what I heard in my heart, as I asked the Lord about all of this:
I want you to proclaim this far and wide. It is only part of the healing I am doing in your brother Alex, but it is an important part.
Should I put it out in an update?
Absolutely. Write with economy. Let the story tell itself, and I will do the highlighting, as each one reads it.
Grace me, Father. Do you have a word for the Noon Hour?
My children, gather close, for the time is drawing close. You have seen my hand on Alex. Soon you will soon see it on all of you. Not one heart that enters my temple on Wednesday will leave untouched.
Open your hearts to me, and from my heart I will give you more love than you have ever experienced. When you fell in love with me at the beginning of our walk together, you experienced a sense of awe and wonder, that the Creator of the Universe could care so much for one of His creations.
You are about to experience it again.