Robert Haydon Jones and Matthew Levine

Matthew Levine

The Story of My Healing Hands
by J.P. McKenzie
as told to Robert Haydon Jones
Inspiration piece

Exactly a week ago today, I laid my hands on the left breast of Sally H, a 40-year-old mother of two with breast cancer. This afternoon Sally called and told Betty, my assistant, that she had an MRI this morning and the tumor has vanished. She said her oncologist is mystified. Sally was crying.  She said it is a miracle. She said I am a saint.

Believe it or not, events like this are pretty much routine for me these days.

But let me get one thing straight right off: I am definitely NOT a saint. In fact, I am NOT at all religious.

In fact, I often wonder how a miracle worker like me could be as skeptical as I am about spirituality. But that’s the way it is. There are literally hundreds of people who will swear on a Bible that I do miracles and yet the fact is I don’t have an ounce of faith in any deity or religion.

That’s not to say that I don’t have a yearning for faith – for a spiritual connection. Boy, do I ever! An old friend refers to it as “The Holy Yearning”. But I have never found it. I am very up-front about this.  And people are very surprised to learn that I have no specific belief – that I yearn for a firm, fixed, faith.

Even the people I heal are puzzled. “How can you be such a wonderful Healer,” they ask, “and not be a True Believer in some thing? That’s really hard to believe.” These are people I have just healed! The fact is my gift is hard to believe. Some times even I have a hard time with it.

Actually, the fact that I have no faith isn’t the biggest problem that the skeptics have with me. When 60 Minutes did a story about me, “Postman Mac’s Magic Hands”, a couple of years back; they got an avalanche of protest mail. The big complaint was from people who said it was totally impossible for a retired Letter Carrier to have such power!

So in response to thousands of requests, I’m telling my story out to my old friend, Robert Haydon Jones. The healing I am doing is real. You could call it, “miraculous” as defined in the Webster’s Dictionary: “Highly improbable and extraordinary and bringing very welcome consequences.” I want to set the record straight.

I definitely wasn’t born with my gift. In fact, I can tell you exactly when I got it.  Five years ago, in April, I decided to file my papers for early retirement. I had been a Letter Carrier for 25 years. My wife, Gloria, was dead set against my retiring.

She said she didn’t want me around all the time. I didn’t see how that was a problem.  The fact is I was hardly ever at home. On most nights and weekends from March through October, I work as a Baseball Umpire; and all year long, I attend four or five 12-Step meetings a week.

So, even though Gloria was pleading with me not to do it, I put in my papers. I couldn’t take the bullshit they put you through at the Postal Service any more.  My first week into retirement, I came back from umpiring a high school game a couple of towns down I-95 and my house was half empty. Gloria was gone.  So was her car and all of her things.

She left a note. She told me she was filing for divorce – that she was driving out to Del Mar, California to start a new life with Phil Brown, who was our insurance agent. She said she was sorry but that she and Phil had been an item for twelve years and now that his kids were grown they could be together. (Our two girls were done with college and living in New York City.)

It hurt and it hurt and the drug-addicted alcoholic in me cried out for my favorite, anesthetics from my bad old days. But I stayed close to my Sponsor; I doubled up on my meetings. I stayed sober.

But just barely – just by the skin of my chinny-chin-chin. So, when the second weekend in July rolled in, I was greatly relieved to be attending the 12-Step Weekend Retreat I had been going to in January and July for the last 15 years or so at a Retreat Center run by the Jesuits in Morristown, New Jersey.

My Sponsor was there along with 200 other crazed drunks and drug addicts from the New York Metro area. Usually, it is just what I need. But on the first night, I felt lost in the crowd at dinner and at the 12-Step meeting we had afterward.  When I went to my tiny room at bedtime, I felt a crushing emptiness.

I had always thought love was enough. It had never occurred to me that I could love Gloria as I did and lose her. And be played for a trick in the process!

I mean I know she had loved me back. She said I had a special way about me that she loved being with. We had our two babies within the first three years and we had wonderful times raising them. But Gloria had left me to be with another man.

That first night at the retreat, I didn’t get much sleep. Just as dawn was breaking, I got dressed and went down to the kitchen and got a cup of coffee. It was two hours till breakfast, and I really felt like using. So I got my jacket and cap and gloves and went for a walk.  I really like walking – hey, remember, I was a Letter Carrier for 25 years.

About half a mile out, I turned off the road and took a steep dirt path up a small cliff.  Near the top there was a small bench carved right into the cliff face.

I sat down on the bench and watched the rising sun’s beams creep toward me through the shadow.  I remember thinking dully that perhaps the sun could fill the utterly empty vessel I had become.

Then the sunbeams reached me and I think I grunted in appreciation as I was suffused with warmth –- and then as the sun shone full on me – an orgasmic rapture suddenly welled up and cascaded in me – as if every atom of my being was reveling in the warmth and the light.

The rapture subsided after about two or three minutes. I felt transformed. I felt serene and spent like I did after Gloria and I made love. I did not know exactly what had happened, but I knew my life would never be the same. I was no longer empty. I was certain I would never be empty again. The sun had filled me up forever.

I felt a sudden ravenous hunger for the institutional pancakes and sausage the Retreat features at breakfast. I was brimming with energy, so I started to jog on down the path down the cliff.

Well, I took a bad step, twisted my ankle and fell down heavily on the edge of the path. I was lucky I hadn’t fallen further off and gone down the cliff. That was the good news. The bad news was that my right ankle was very badly sprained. It was already grossly swollen. I wondered how I would be able to get back.

My ankle hurt like blazes. I took off my sneaker. The swelling made my ankle look deformed. I was certain it was a Grade 11 even possibly a Grade 111 sprain. It hurt!  I rubbed the swelling with my hand. To my astonishment, the swelling immediately began to subside. I kept rubbing. In less than five minutes, the swelling was gone and so was the pain!

I jogged on back to breakfast. I never had a happier meal. There was a new warmth and a burgeoning light in me that are with me to this day.

The first time I healed someone by laying on my hands was the day after I returned from the Retreat.  I had to see my lawyer, Dan, to sign some papers on Gloria’s divorce action.

Betty Watrous was Dan’s secretary. She had been struggling for months with severe pain from chronic Carpal Tunnel. She had on one of those ugly braces – but it wasn’t doing much good. So, on the spur of the moment, I asked her to take off the brace so I could touch her hand and wrist. After some hesitation, she did it. I rubbed her hand and in about ten minutes the Carpal Tunnel was gone, never to return.

I was very lucky that the sequence of my life as a Healer began this way.

Dan, my lawyer saw me heal Betty and he believed his own eyes. (You would be surprised how many people don’t!) Dan knew I had lightening in a bottle – but from the start, he counseled me to be very, very, cautious with my miraculous gift.

So, right then, Dan helped me to file on-line and create an LLC corporation.  I called it Healing Hands, LLC. Betty agreed we could use her name as Secretary.  Little did I know, that Betty would end up managing every aspect of Healing Hands.

Betty and I became lovers and soul mates. She manages my Healing Session schedules and my support staff, as I never could. At home, Betty and I have a truly blissful life. My two daughters really like Betty. Everyone does.

By the way, when Betty moved into my house, she insisted on replacing my extra big King-Size bed with a Queen-Size. “That bed of yours is too damn big,” she said.  “I’ve slept alone for 10 years since my husband died. I want your skin on my skin all night long.”

Dan suggested that Healing Hands follow some “Ground Rules”– and we have done so faithfully, letter-for-letter to this day.

We schedule Healing Sessions on the basis of order of receipt of the request.  We book a maximum of four Healing Sessions daily, Monday through Friday.

We never promise a cure. When people call, we tell them we will try our best, but that we never know what will happen.

I never see a client by myself. Betty, or one of my other assistants, is always present in the room when I lay my hands on a client.

We never charge for our services. We do accept and acknowledge donations made after the fact. These are voluntary donations. We have never asked for payment or issued a bill.

We keep meticulous records and file promptly to the State and the IRS.  Healing Hands averages well into seven figures of annual revenue. We have never owed a penny of penalty or interest on our business or personal tax returns.

I have laid my hands on thousands of people in the five years since I healed Betty’s Carpal Tunnel hand. I have healed more than 850 individuals. We have notarized Case Histories and Affidavits on nearly all of these Healings.

Unfortunately, as noted, I never know beforehand what the outcome will be.  So, sadly, there have been all too many clients who I haven’t been able to help.  A few of these disappointed folks have accused me of a being a charlatan and a faker. All I can say is I empathize with their dashed hopes. I tell them I am sorry. I tell them to please remember that I never promised them anything and I never charged them anything.

I was almost a year into the process, when I thought to offer my Sponsor a Healing Session to help him with the chronic pain he has suffered with for years from a badly mended broken leg.

I am happy to report that after I laid my hands on his leg, his pain abated within ten minutes and soon was gone for good. My Sponsor, who is a droll sort, says he still likes me even if I am a friggin witch!

This gift is as much of a mystery to me as it is to any one. Every Healing Session is exciting for me. I never know for sure what will happen. For the record, it doesn’t seem to matter if the subject is spiritual or not. Outcome is not influenced by age, gender, race or income.

I do not “channel” anything or anyone. As I lay my hands on a subject, I think back on that time on the cliff when the sun filled me – and then I hope for the best.

Every time a Healing occurs, the palms of my hands suddenly heat up and throb.  This lasts for no more than 10 seconds or so. Then my hands are totally normal.  When my hands heat up, I feel a wonderful, skin-to-skin bond with my client. Believe me, it is ten seconds of utter rapture. The best reference I can give you may be in your memory.

Think back to when your kids were real little and you nuzzled a lot with them and your spouse in your nest of a bed. If you and your skin have that memory, then you have a solid handle on the rapture I’m talking about.


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  1. Posted December 24, 2011 at 7:51 am | #

    Bob, its Christmas eve morning and I just finished reading your Lark and Healer pieces. Both quite wonderful. The Lark a New England Haiku, reminds me of Frost; and the Healer has personal resonance for me, very familiar and very well done re verisimilatude. Did I spell that right? Have a very Merry Christmas and keep writing. You’re turning into our Irish Welsh Connecticut Dickens. Cheers!

  2. Posted December 24, 2011 at 10:47 am | #

    the essence of healing is that there be acceptance that there be truth. This story has those elements and is oddly believable in these our cynical times. The elements involved are humanity chemistry organic and and trust. do bus men take buses do letter carriers take walks? They do. A very spiritual story with very human underpinnings. it’s a very courageous venture going on retreat with hundreds of recovering alcoholics and returning victorious. Well-done all-around

  3. Posted December 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm | #

    Matthew, you are becoming a master painter like your father~ The Late Great David Levine. Love, your # one fan!!!

  4. Posted December 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm | #

    Haydon Jones at his satirical best, but with all the requisite humanity. Madame Blavatsky would be jealous. Great work. And love the painting.

  5. Posted December 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm | #

    I don’t know how Mr.Jones manages to write about this sort of topic in a way that makes me keep reading. Usually this kind of piece turns me off at the starting gate. Here’s the thing- I am a real skeptic when it comes to “magical” thinking or doing, I used to work for “The Amazing Randi” who earned his living debunking guys like this; yet I believe this Postman fully.

    Beautiful artwork by Mr Levine also!

  6. Posted December 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm | #

    Beautifully written piece. What a difference it makes to call a mailman a letter carrier, which adds such a wonderful layer of dignity. I also enjoyed the transformation scene when the sunbeams hit the healer’s back. It reminds me of a quote from EB White, who said, during an interview:

    “I am often mad, but I would hate to be nothing but mad: and I think I would lose what little value I may have as a writer if I were to refuse, as a matter of principle, to accept the warming rays of the sun, and to report them, whenever, and if ever, they happen to strike me.”

  7. Posted December 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm | #

    Nice story, some good laughs, too. I like the set up. How the healer barely believes in healing, yet it happens. The story begs for us to accept the “reality” of miracles, the unexplained. And it reminds me, there is an unexplained healing power to touch. In this age of speed communication with phones and computers, the simple art of communicating with the touch of a hand seems to be fading. Probably costing more than we know. Nicely, done Mr. Jones. Nice painting, too.

  8. Posted January 3, 2012 at 9:09 am | #

    Thank you, gents, for bringing miracle, sunbeam heat and skin-to-skin rapture so close. From holy yearning to a blessed conduit. Powerful.

  9. Posted January 8, 2012 at 9:02 am | # for another “magical” story of joy and hope,,,it reminds me that giving is a round-trip experience.

    Matt ….your painting made me feel “open and alive”

  10. Posted January 29, 2012 at 6:11 am | #

    How extraordinary to make something extraordinary seem ordinary. Wonderful to flesh out the day-to-day business particulars of a miraculous activity and thus render it credible.

  11. Posted July 15, 2012 at 4:45 am | #

    Great Story, Well Told.