Dr. Nemeh

 

…”and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”.

~James 5:16

[I] will always look fondly on the time I spent with Lyle in Ohio.  I have learned that the simple beauty of a spiritual experience is magnified when it is shared.  Sure, God and I have had our private moments.  I would even say aloud that I have had a word or two whispered from the mouth of Jesus directly into my ears.  And yes, a word spoken directly to you from the God of the universe will get your attention.  I will state though, without equivocation, that the four plus hours spent with Lyle in that ballroom was the single most profound spiritual experience of my life.   I have joked to some that Jesus is alive, is well and lives at the Holliday Inn in Westlake Ohio.  I will lay the jokes aside and tell you that the feeling, the certainty of the presence of God was palpable in the room.

The room filled and we were brought to order by collectively reading “The Miracle Prayer” from a prayer card handed out as we entered.  A couple of speakers followed, one of which was Dr. Nemeh.  The doctor spoke for fifteen or twenty minutes.  I made mental notes that his words seemed to match up theologically with what I have learned and have come to believe.  I would say, from listening and observing, that he was not there to speak, he was there to pray.  His talk was a bit rambling.  He further calmed my heart though by stating clearly that he did not have a gift of healing, that what he had been given was a “gift of faith”.  He also clearly stated that he claimed no divinity or sense of divinity himself.  He did say that he had a connectedness or sorts.  He referred to a “knowing”, a sense of things as it related to the folks who came to him for prayer.   This knowing and sensitivity made manifest through prayer.  This prayer said over and over, simply imploring the Holy Spirit to come and to come in the name of Jesus.

Dr. Nemeh’s staff, be they paid or volunteer, were extremely ordered in how they brought folks up to receive prayer.   I would classify the logistics of the operation as methodical but compassionate.  Towards the end of the prayer service there was a woman of about forty years who was helped to her assigned carpet circle.  She was unsteady on her feet and Dr. Denton had her diagnosed with some form of Parkinson’s and or some lasting effects of drug abuse.   A chair was placed behind her so she could sit as she waited for her turn with the doctor. My heart went out as this woman sat head in hands sobbing with emotion.  One of the women who had previously been helping with the carpet circle designations pulled a chair alongside this woman and held her in her arms until the doctor came to her.  What I am trying to communicate is that the people who surrounded the doctor were professional but were also deeply and compassionately engaged in the process.

Compassionate, reserved, at peace, knowing, unhurried, calm, humorous and humble.  These are the words I would use to describe Dr. Nemeh as he went about the business of prayer.  I would use these words as apt from the very first circle dweller to the very last.   The doctor’s demeanor did not change. I was drawn first to his eyes, unchanging in their reflection or generation of compassion.  His eyes hold a light that he seems willing to share.   I have lost the exact number of folks lined up in front but lets call it ten at a time.  Ten folks lined up with varying degrees of self-consciousness, I am sure, about having three hundred eyes pointing at their backside.    The doctor approaches the first one and it is on.  I really do not know how to describe it other than it is on.   With the barely audible words, “Come Holy Spirit”, it is on.  I look at Lyle and Lyle looks at me and the nods confirm that “yes I felt that”.   Strange but the feeling, the sense, the knowing that God was present in that room seemed to ebb and flow.  In Lyle’s and my many debriefings this was confirmed, that as he moved from one to another this spiritual sensation would either spike or fall a bit.   I could not identify a pattern or causation in this change of atmosphere but change it did.   At times the feeling in the room was thick with goodness.  Thin and flowing like water at times, thick like peanut butter at others, just short of visible.

At the end of the very first line up, sat a young man in his motorized wheel chair.  Except for my own selfish receipt of prayer and my overwhelming desire that Lyle be healed, this young man touched me more than all the rest.  From my vantage, his mother blocked me from seeing this young man above his mid thigh.  I saw a blue blanket covering his legs down to his black Nike tennis shoes.  I saw on the battery of his wheelchair a bold Batman decal.  I saw the doctor approach him paying special attention to his mother, while spending upwards of ten minutes praying over this young man and his mother.  I witnessed emotion from both the giver and receiver.  If there was a doubt left at all in me, it was vanquished.  Dr. Nemeh spent the time.  He was not on a schedule; he was not hurried, but purposeful.  I had the feeling that he spent whatever time was required or that which was directed from above.  Thirty seconds or ten minutes, he took the time.  In fact, the event was scheduled from 10:00 until 2:00.  At approximately 2:45, the very same woman who sat us, sheepishly approached Lyle and I and asked us kindly to leave.  Scott being Scott asked, “why”?  She whispered, that she needed to set up the room for the next group, which was scheduled to start at 2:00.  All this being said is to tell you that time is not a dictator in regard to the doctor; he will be done with the first group when he is done.   The second group will wait and then they will get the exact same respect and compassion that the first group received.   This also being a man whose typical work week is 9:00 am to 12:00 am six days a week with upwards of 2,500 people on a waiting list to see him in his office.  I digress….as the doctor finished praying over this young man, he turned and moved towards the next person who had by now assumed the first spot in line.  As the doctor moved away, his mother turned and headed away in the opposite direction.  His mother was noticeably shaken, she emotional but now my sight line was not blocked.  As the young man swung his wheelchair around I saw a look upon his face I assume I will not see again.  It was peace.  There was not a trace of the thirteen or so, “look at me, I want to be cool, I am cool right”?  Not a trace of anything but peace and grace.  Again Lyle and I traded nods of understanding.

There are many others:  One man who sat in front of us with his wife.  His wife appeared to be very affected by what had happened to or for her, but for him, “I felt nothing”.  I was saddened by his three words…. Another husband and his wife sat to our right; unclear as to whom may be the primary reason for their being there.  He looking like the tough ex biker with a number of visible tattoos on his arms.   They received prayer and as the doctor moved from them this man fell apart sobbing.  He and his wife stood for minutes, uncaring that the world may be watching and they held each other.  They stood there sobbing, holding each other….These stories came one after another…Towards the end of the prayer session an older man was brought to the front of the room and the doctor approached.  The man who was obviously hard of hearing rather shouted that he had brain cancer, lung cancer and bone cancer.  As the doctor went to work, “Come Holy Spirit”, the man interrupted saying, “I can’t hear you so good”.  To this the doctor replied, “that’s okay, you say your prayer and I will say mine”.  Oh the gift of humor, even to a man who held three cancers simultaneously!

On I will go to Act 5 soon, the prayers said over Lyle and I but I must talk about the last lingering objection that occupied my mind as this prayer session began…You, if you be like me, have been flipping the channels and have come across Benny Hinn and his prayer meetings.  Benny approaches and down they go!  “Holy Jesus, “In the name of Jesus” and all that.   Well, we were not two folks in and down they went.   “Falling in the Spirit” is how they refer to it.  Young, old, male or female, it did not matter, down they went.  They fell into the waiting arms of their designated “catcher”.  Often times as soon as the doctor approached, down they would go.  Some would fall at the beginning, some in the middle and some towards the end of the prayer.   The fallout of the fall varied; some would pop right up and some would lie in place on the carpet for minutes.  All appeared calm and at peace.  I did not notice a look of embarrassment, nor self awareness.  I did witness a number of times an obvious conversation between prayer recipient and catcher.  Clearly the recipient would casually announce to the catcher that there would be no need for his services and the catcher would kindly nod and ask that he just be allowed to stand by and do his job.   Invariably, these were the folks who would shortly be on their back, on the pleasing symmetrically patterned carpeting.  I will offer no other editorial comment than to say that my objection once again was ushered out of my head and heart……