MOUNT PLEASANT — An avid runner who competes in marathons and triathlons, Claire Weslaski’s hard-core training was disrupted about two years ago.
Weslaski, 49, of Caledonia, developed a heel spur, a bony growth on the heel that can cause pain. She tried icing it and stretches, but “nothing was working,” she said. “It’s a total life disruption.”
With a half-marathon scheduled for the end of October that year, Weslaski said she thought she’d have to compete in a 5K instead.
A few people then referred her to the Healing Rooms of Greater Racine and she went in for a session about a week before the race.
“After they prayed over me, they said, ‘stand up. See how you feel,’ ” said Weslaski, president of Image Management in Racine. “It wasn’t like ‘throw the wheelchair away.’ ”
But every day after, her pain lessened, she said. While she did compete in the 5K instead of the half-marathon, “I did it without any pain in my heel at all,” she said.
“I said ‘Jesus will heal you. If he did it 2,000 years ago, he’ll do it now,’ ” Weslaski said.
The Healing Rooms of Greater Racine is a faith-based group of Racine County residents that meets twice monthly to pray over people. They also may lay their hands on those seeking such prayers, said Director Craig Husch, 58, of Racine.
“The one prayer we know won’t be answered is the one we don’t pray,” said Husch, who teaches at Christian Life School in Kenosha.
Members of the Healing Rooms of Greater Racine say their informal Christian organization is devoted to praying for individuals with illnesses, injuries or physical ailments. This Racine County group is a member of the International Association of Healing Rooms, according to the organization, which is headquartered in Spokane.
The group meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. They meet at the home of group members, 1925 Grand Prix Drive, Mount Pleasant. There is no charge for visitors, Husch said.
Other nearby healing rooms are located in Zion, Ill., Pewaukee and Mukwonago, according to the International Association of Healing Rooms.
Husch said his group — which currently has 14 members and has been operating for about three years — is not affiliated with any particular local church. He said group members, himself included, belong to a variety of churches.
Typically, there are at most three people praying for the person in a bedroom-style room. They don’t use “exuberant” televangelist styles and “nobody’s gonna holler at you,” Husch explained.
Husch said the group does not advocate that people stop seeing doctors or taking their medication.
“We don’t practice magic here. We just do what we can,” he said.
Laying on of hands
If the person has enough faith in Jesus to show up for prayers at the healing room, “then He can put your soul in a position for something to happen,” Husch said.
When he practices the “laying on of hands,” Husch said typically he uses only two fingers.
“Some people will say, ‘Wow, I’m getting a ton of heat right there’ — from just those couple of fingers,” Husch said.
Group members will remain hands-off for those who do not wish to be touched, he added.
The person may not walk out of the healing room fully healed, he said, and he and group members acknowledge that improvement may take some time.
“We’re going to recognize He does stuff in His timing,” Husch said, but was careful to note “it’s somewhat common for the person to say ‘I feel better’ right away.”
Weslaski said she returned to the healing room on May 26, after she suffered a muscle injury during a race with an obstacle course in April.
“I had to take the entire month of May off from running,” she said.
After visiting the group, she competed in a triathlon earlier this month and came in second in her age division, Weslaski said.
“I’m a firm believer,” she said. “The people there are wonderful. I say ‘thank you so much,’ and the people (in the healing room) said ‘don’t thank us, it was all Jesus.’ … I feel really at peace and I know Jesus is there (in the healing room).”
When someone is healed, group members see “we’re moving in the right direction,” Husch said. “We’re showing God’s not just a theory.”
“Jesus will heal you. If he did it 2,000 years ago, he’ll do it now.” — Claire Weslaski, 49, of Caledonia
“Jesus will heal you. If he did it 2,000 years ago, he’ll do it now.”
— Claire Weslaski, 49, of Caledonia