(Investigator 18, 1991
Edward Lynch, psychiatric nurse since 1966 and a member of THE WAY INTERNATIONAL, believes in miracles.
"I don’t have a monopoly on healing," said Mr Lynch. "I might put my hands on the person and someone else prays.
"We give God the first opportunity but have nothing against seeing a doctor as well.
"Someone might ask me, 'Eddy would you pray for me?’ Then I ask Father 'What's wrong with him?' Father tells me, for example, 'He has a toothache.' I tell this to the person and he confirms it and then I pray. I only pray for healing when God tells me to.
"The prayer is always in the name of Christ Jesus not of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the humbled and crucified one – the emphasis is on his humanity. Christ Jesus is the victorious one who was raised from the dead. The emphasis is on his divinity.
"The healing may be either instant or gradual. I've had a good success rate. In one case I prayed when a person haemorrhaged from the mouth and that was healed. My daughter had gaps in her front teeth and that was healed after I prayed.
"My second wife died of brain cancer. In this instance God did not heal. But in America I saw several cancers healed."
Mr Lynch of Greenacres (suburb of Adelaide) made the above comments when he visited me in February. Eddy, who is Irish and 49, was a former acquaintance whom I hadn’t seen for 18 years.
I first met Eddy in 1969 when I was canvassing for a lawn mowing round. Over the next three years we met on occasion to argue about religion.
Eddy had joined the Assemblies of God when he was 18 and had worked at Glenside Hospital since 1966. Some of his miracle stories had a hospital setting.
He told, for example, how the "Holy Spirit" forewarned him of a knife attack by a patient. When it happened Eddy was ready and parried the attack.
In 1971 Mr Lynch joined THE WAY. This was a sect started in 1957 by former United Church of Christ minister Victor Wierville. It's a tithe-paying, Unitarian group of 100,000 members in 70 lands.
In 1973 Mr Lynch took his wife and two children to America to live at THE WAY headquarters in Ohio for two years and study theology.
That's when I lost contact with him for 18 years until recently deciding to try to find him through the telephone book.
Eddy's training in America included, he explained, going skiing, blindfold, at night in rugged terrain of the Sierra Mountains.
"I trusted in God to keep me intact," said Eddy.
Another test was to hitchhike across the USA with only $20. Again he succeeded and indeed got back to headquarters with the $20 unused.
Mr Lynch is still a clinical nurse at Glenside. He is also president of a Self Help group where he teaches about serious problems such as manic depressive psychosis.
Mr Lynch sometimes prays for patients at his Glenside ward: "When things are out of control and medicine doesn't work, I talk to Father about it. When I'm away unpleasant things have happened.
"Other workers see the difference when I’m present but don't attribute it to God."
Mr Lynch also said that God will heal people of non-Christian religions, even Hindus: "I have learnt that it's not a question of religion but a question of believing."
It's a pity that Eddy was in America when I had six teeth knocked out in a work accident in November 1973. Had he been here I might have saved myself twenty trips to the dentist.