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The Kiss of Faith

She has the feet of a country girl, one that has known the pleasure of walking outside barefoot, toes spread wide on warm grass in the summertime.

She'd been running around in the back yard, chasing butterflies and picking dandelions in the grass. She was as happy as a lark until she bumped her toe and started howling in her usual, overly dramatic fashion.

She held her little foot in the air, wiggled her big toe and said, "Kiss it, mommy. Kiss it!"

At first, I tried to play it off.

"Aww, Michaela, you're a big girl," I said. "Go play."

"No, mommy! Kiss!"

And so, like Princess Tiana, I sighed, wrinkled up my nose, kissed the toad, er, toe.

"Awwwwl (all) better," she said, mimicking the way I'd been saying it to her all her life.

And off she went, happy and carefree.

It brought a smile to my face. She's outgrown the phase where she needed a dozen Elmo bandaids for every scratch or bump, but she still believes the best medicine for a boo-boo was a kiss from mommy.

Too bad it's not that easy for grownups.

Our faith has been clouded by the cynicism that comes with age, with medical knowledge and with more grown-up aches and pains. As soon as I was old enough to know that Tylenol made the pain go away, I decided that was a more reasonable, tangible solution. As soon as I realized that there were scientific reasons for certain ailments, I decided that my doctor and my pharmacist were the best folks to call.

Gone were the days when I prayed about boo-boos and illnesses and truly believed God would heal them, no matter how small or how great or how medically impossible the sickness was.

I often read with awe the Bible stories about ailing men and women who sought healing touches from Christ. My favorite is the story of the woman who crawled through a huge crowd, thoroughly convinced that she would be healed if she merely touched the hem of Christ's garment. (Mark 5:25-34)

Don't get me wrong, I believe that God gave medical researchers and doctors the wisdom to treat us and teach us how to stay healthy. And I'm the first to call our pediatrician or rush to the emergency room if I think my child needs help.

But I want to learn to add some faith to my medicine cabinet and some prayer to my arsenal of cures.I want to always remember that a little dose of faith can go a long way.

I remember as a child when I was stricken with eczema. I was covered in scaly sores. My scalp was running puss, I was itchy and feverish and miserable. It seemed the medicine just wasn't working.

But a group of women from my childhood church -- we used to call them "prayer warriors" -- stopped by. They gathered around my bed and started praying like it was going out of style. They basically told the Devil to go straight back to hell and take this ugly old eczema with him.

And, well, all I can say is that I know God answers prayers. A few days later, I was all better and back in school.

I have never forgotten how those women of faith prayed like maniacs for my healing.

Of course, it took me years to understand that it wasn't just their prayers -- and it wasn't just my momma's kisses -- it was my faith that did the work.

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