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Observations placeholder

Macmillan cures a bunion



Type of Spiritual Experience


Mrs Small was the cook of the man he was staying with as a house guest.  This was only the second time he had done any healing

A description of the experience

The Reluctant healer – William J Macmillan

From Mrs. Small's standpoint nothing a foreigner and an American could do could cause more than a flicker of surprise. I had no doubt she assumed bunion-curing was part of our University training.

I went on to explain that I should have to treat directly upon the bunion itself. This did produce a considerable conflict in Mrs. Small's mind. There were decided limits beyond which one did not go. Taking off her stocking before a stranger and a guest in the house stretched this limit beyond the wildest reach of her imagination. But she too was acting under a compulsion stronger than her natural pattern of behaviour. The stocking was removed. I saw my first bunion.

The sight of this large protuberance, red as uncooked beef, filled me with a kind of horror and panic. It will be remembered that my single lesson in healing was limited to rather strenuous rubbing followed by passes. As the inflamed area was too painful for Mrs. Small to touch herself, my active imagination had no difficulty in visualizing what would happen when I began to rub with vigour.

I started to say I am sorry this is too much for my abilities and to beat an undignified retreat. I happened to look up from my examination of the foot and saw the expression in her eyes.

Those eyes had never known panic - nor had the owner ever undertaken something she could not perform. I was humbled by her calm acceptance of what she could not understand.

I offered a quick but utterly fervent inner prayer. I fear that my prayer was not that Mrs. Small should be healed from pain, but that I should be successfully extricated from this unfortunate mess into which I had heedlessly plunged.

I rubbed the bunion. Mrs. Small neither screamed nor rose from her chair. I rubbed harder. Still no visible reaction from the silent figure patiently waiting to be healed. With renewed confidence I continued the treatment exactly as I had done for Marta. After some minutes, I don't remember how long exactly, Mrs. Small sighed deeply. "That does feel much better," she announced. By the end of the ten-minute period the inflammation had disappeared and most of the swelling. The joint itself had loosened sufficiently to be movable.

The passes were completed. "Thank you very much, sir. I must get on with the dinner. Perhaps if you don't mind, sir, we had better not mention this to the master. He might not like your coming to the kitchen this way." 

The source of the experience

Macmillan, William J

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps