The Superhero House of Healing sat on a beautiful tall hill which overlooked a bright green lawn. Light breezes combed the grass. Drops of sparkling sunlight danced upon a nearby brook whose bubbling waters gave the place a peaceful, comforting feel. Down below, two women walked across the clearing, carrying the limp form of a girl, no more than twenty. A man in a white robe met them.
“You can set her down here,” he said, with a downward glance and a wave of his right hand.
The women exchanged puzzled glances, wondering what he meant. Then they saw a purple blanket lying on the ground, with a soft pink pillow on it. The man took the superhero girl from them and laid her on the little bed he’d made.
Before he could introduce himself, the first woman blurted out, “Hi, I’m Cynthia.”
“And I’m Janice,” said the second.
“I know. I’ve heard about you,” said the man. “I’m the head physician here.”
Cynthia’s eyes filled with tears as she gazed at the superhero girl’s thin arms and pale white face. Her features seemed show more bones than skin. “Do you think there’s any hope for our good friend Eagle Girl?”
“There’s always hope,” said the man, his voice filled with compassion. He nodded to the golden building behind them at the top of the hill. “Here at the Super Hero House of Healing, we have cures for every disease that ever did exist.”
“I sure hope so,” said Janice. “She’s been wasting away for months. It is a mystery.”
“I hate to say this, but I think she might be anorexic,” said Cynthia. “We rarely see her eat or drink. She never used to be like this. What do you suppose has gotten into her?”
“Something villainous,” said the doctor. He lifted the girl’s head and rolled her on her stomach.
“Just as I suspected. Do you see those tiny red marks just below her neck? This is no doubt the work of Backbiter.”
Janice gasped. “Who’s Backbiter?”
“A villainous vampire that bites people’s backs with a deadly poison called False Accusation, based on lies which may contain a tiny grain of truth,” said the doctor. “False accusation is a type of hallucinatory drug. It distorts how you see yourself when you look in the mirror, exaggerating every flaw and minimizing every virtue. If you’re five pounds overweight, it will make you look obese. That’s the sort of horrible self-image False Accusation conveys.”
“Oh, so maybe that’s why she won’t eat,” said Cynthia. “No matter how thin she gets, she sees herself as fat.And you believe false accusation is at the root of her disease?”
“I believe that’s a big part of it,” said the doctor. “But I suspect junk food, as well, in the form of multiple gossip bites.”
“But she’s not a gossiper,” Janice protested. “She never badmouths people behind their backs.”
The doctor rubbed his chin. “Well, I can’t judge how much she does or doesn’t backbite. All I know is, false accusation is gossip’s best friend. The two go hand-in-hand. What’s more, you don’t have to badmouth someone to participate in gossip. Just listening will do it, because whatever enters your ear drops down into your stomach – unless you can find a way to stop it. Gossip is toxic. I don’t know why people chew on it. They feed on others’ flaws to make themselves feel good, but in the end, it only makes them feel worse because it’s based on hatred – hatred of others and hatred of themselves.”
“So, what’s the cure?” asked Janice with a frown.
“Forgiveness,” answered the doctor. “If you forgive, you’ll be forgiven, but if you don’t, then you’re not live-in’.”
“That’s what Eagle Girl needs, all right,” said Cynthia. “She needs to experience forgiveness by forgiving.”
“But first we have to wake her up,” said Janice.
“Here at the Superhero House of Healing all things are possible,” said the doctor. “The grass that grows in these green pastures contains great virtue. The still, comforting waters will bring her soul into a place of rest. All it takes is time and patience.”