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I had a very obvious conversation starter as well — my giant leg brace for my broken leg. Yes, I know I mentioned that the specialist said I don’t have to wear it anymore, but it’s so much less painful when I do that I’ve been wearing it regularly. What I didn’t expect was for it to spark an extremely odd conversation on the way back to my car. Sure, people on the street have made comments to me recently, either commiserating about a recent knee injury of their own or just telling me they’re sorry because it really doesn’t look like any fun. However, I was walking with a friend (Kirsty, the organiser of the event) and I really didn’t have to go very far at all.
As I hobbled down the stairs into the King George Square parking lot — grabbing the handrail with one hand and using a crutch in the other, trying not to slip on the slightly damp stairs — three girls came charging down the stairs after us. I pulled to the side of a landing in an attempt to let them get by, only to realise that they were actually chasing after me.
“Hi! We’re from the church down the road and we’ve seen miracles happen through prayer, like this one guy that was blind wasn’t blind anymore after we prayed for him!” one of the girls breathlessly told me. “We were wondering if it would be ok for us to pray for you so you know, you can be healed and walk normally again?”
“Uhhh…ummm…” I stammered, not really sure what to make of this request. Thinking that they just wanted my permission to bring me up in their next prayer circle, I figured, why not? So I agreed.
“So what exactly did you do to your leg?” the ringleader asked.
“It’s broken. I fractured the top of my tibia.” I answered.
Looking at my knee, she said, “Oh, so it’s hurt around here then?” pointing roughly at the right area.
When I indicated that she was correct, all three of the girls knelt down, put their hands on my knee, and started praying. “Jesus Christ, please bless Kristin today and allow her to recover from the fracture in her leg so she can walk again. Please, Jesus, we ask that you instantaneously heal this girl.”
All the while, I was standing on one leg, still holding on to the railing and a crutch. Kirsty, holding the other crutch and standing a few stairs down, was studiously examining the bricks in the wall, trying to keep it together. I am so glad she didn’t look at me because I was having a hard enough time trying to keep a straight face. Thankfully they were too busy staring at my leg to pay attention to me!
Finishing their prayers, the three got back to their feet and asked if my knee felt any better.
“I can’t really tell because of the brace,” I answered.
“Can you bend it at all now?” one asked.
“No, that’s what the brace is for,” I replied.
“Oh, ok, well in that case, we’ll just pray one more time for you. Every time we pray, it makes the injury a little bit better.”
With that, they all went back to their knees, put their hands back on my knee, and resumed praying. This time, I couldn’t keep a straight face and started laughing — and it was probably even louder because of how hard I was trying to keep it in. I couldn’t stop, as much as I desperately wanted to. All three girls looked up at me with a hurt expression, so I explained that I thought it was funny that I was standing on one leg in a stairwell and that it was getting a bit difficult to stand. That seemed to make perfect sense to them because, once Kirsty handed me my other crutch, they continued.
I managed to keep my laughing to a minimum and they eventually regained their feet. The ringleader explained to me with wide eyes and a very serious expression that once I got home, if I took off the knee brace and tried to walk around, that I would be healed and able to walk normally once more. Then, as quickly as they had arrived, they were gone.
Even though their hearts were in the right place and they were just trying to help, we couldn’t help bursting out laughing once they were gone. What a bizarre thing to happen in the stairwell of a carpark!
And no, when I got home and took off my knee brace, my leg was not healed. Damn!
I’d love to hear about what sort of odd encounters you’ve had with well-meaning strangers on the street!