The Flute Player
As the Verde river winds its way through the high desert of northern Arizona it cuts deeply through the multi-colored layers of rock. Near Sedona, the rocks are rich in iron giving them a deep red color. A few miles south where iron is scarce, the cliffs formed by the river take on a ghostly pale hue, and it’s here that the Sinagua people built their homes in the cliffs a thousand years ago.
My wife and I had been on the road for an hour and a half. Our destination was Sedona, where we would once again spend our anniversary. But before we would see the red rocks cliffs, we made a short detour to check out Montezuma’s Castle National Monument.
When white men settled here in the 1800’s they mistakenly thought the primitive cliff dwellings of the Verde Valley were the handiwork of the Aztec monarch Montezuma. They named the buildings after him, and the name stuck. Today the ancient apartments made of mud and plaster have been preserved and turned into a national monument. Set among a massive stand of sycamore trees, the excavated ruins make a nice sightseeing stop for visitors interested in learning a little about the history of the Southwest.
As we walked the short trail from the visitor center to the foot of the cliffs to take a few pictures of the ancient ruins, the haunting sound of a Native American flute echoed off the canyon walls all around us. On our way back to the visitor center, I became curious to know a little more about the man playing the flute. “Honey…I need to talk to the flute player before we leave.”
“Okay baby,” my wife replied. We found the flute player sitting in the shade just outside the door to the visitor center, playing one of the half dozen flutes he brought with him. “I love your music,” I said. “Do you make your own flutes?”
He came to the end of the passage he was playing and put the flute down.” I used to make them years ago with a friend. We had a company together, but I can’t do that kind of work anymore. I’m getting old and my back is shot. So I buy them now.”
I looked at my wife. “Sorry honey…but I have to ask him.” She rolled her eyes and smiled. She knew what was going to happen next.
I looked a little closer at his flute. “Wow, that’s cool. You have a pick-up attached to the flute and it’s plugged into an amplifier. Nice setup. I have a friend who plays flute and drums. His playing really touches people.”
”Yeah, the amp allows people to hear me play all through the valley. A lot of folks come back here and tell me how peaceful they feel after hearing me play and they pick up a copy of my CD.”
“I really like the mood you create with your playing. I think it’s why I wanted to talk to you before we left. So I was wondering if you might be willing to tell me a little more about your back.”
“I have degenerative disc disease. The doctors at the VA say there’s nothing that can be done to fix it. I’ve tried just about everything. I’ll probably need an epidural injection pretty soon.”
The flute player was wearing a name tag, which I took note of. “Harry, I’m a paramedic. A few years ago I started having dreams about praying for my patients to be healed. I didn’t even believe in healing at the time. But I started praying for people and over the last few years, my wife and I have seen thousands of people healed. I believe your back will be healed if you let me pray for you.”
“That would be wonderful,” he replied.
“So as you’re sitting there in your chair right now, how bad is the pain on a scale from one to ten?”
“I’d say it’s about an eight.”
“Eight, huh? That’s pretty bad.” I had him lean forward slightly in his chair and placed my hand near the middle of his back. “Holy Spirit, bring your presence.” I waited a few seconds until I felt His presence surround us. “I command this back to be healed in the name of Jesus. Ligaments, nerves, discs and bones, be healed. Spirits of pain and infirmity leave. Inflammation, get out now in the name of Jesus.” I took my hand off his back. “Do you feel anything different happening?”
“No. Not really. But I’ll probably have to wait until I stand up.”
We talked for another five minutes about his playing then my wife asked for his contact information. He got up from his chair to find a pen and a piece of paper to write on when he suddenly froze. He turned his head slowly to look at me and his eyes grew bigger. He twisted at the waist in both directions. “I haven’t been able to do that in I don’t know how long.” His pain seemed to be completely gone and he was pretty darn happy about it.
Our short talk with the flute player turned into a 45-minute discussion about dreams, visions, the healing power of music, the healing ministry of Jesus, and the fact that anyone can release the healing power of God through faith. I told him about my book and he seemed very interested in learning more. When we get home I’m going to send him a copy. He promised to write back to us to update us on how his back felt over the next few weeks. We shook hands then my wife and I went to our car. I was elated to have had the honor of meeting Harry and praying for him. As we drove toward Sedona I wondered what other adventures awaited us.