I think I'm the only born and bred Pentecostal in this group. I don't remember when I realized that some people who believed in Jesus and believed in the Bible didn't believe that Jesus still heals today. I grew up with Oral Roberts on television. Even occasionally saw A.A. Allen on television. Both prayed for the sick and were quite theatrical about it. Like the Reader’s Digest, an abundance of magazines from people like Brother Oral, Allen or Morris Ceruello came to my home every month. Once I learned to read, I knew God healed people who were sick.
I don’t know if I thought I was sick. It probably was just childishness. Alone in front of the black and white with a big round picture tube, when Oral would say “put your hand on the television set as a point of contact,” I would. I also was “saved” every time a Billy Graham said on TV, “I’m going to ask you to get up out of your seat.” I had a habit of routinely feeling guilty and desiring to “get saved” at every opportunity. I might even be able to get some award for “being saved” more than any other person. I knew the word “backslidden” as well as I did “saved.” Just in case, I was baptized by immersion TWICE.
The supernatural is not new to me. When I was a child, my mother led a number of children’s ministries. My favorite was “Released Time.” Every Wednesday, I was dismissed from school one hour early in order to go to church for “religious instruction.” The Catholic children went for CCD. Most of the Protestant churches had something. My mother led ours.
That was both good and bad. It was good because I thought I had status as the daughter of the leader. Bad because I had to be on my best behavior all the time in order to be a “good example.” I also had to memorize whatever chapter of the Bible she had chosen LONG before everyone else. The best part was being excused from school.
One Wednesday afternoon, a call came to the church office. In those days most pastors weren’t in the office often. The church didn’t have a full time secretary. The only believers that could be reached were Elsie and the children. It was a mother of a girl my age, a friend. Her daughter was in the hospital with meningitis. Frantic, she called for prayer. Unable to find the pastor, she thought of Elsie and the kids. She told my mother, “I knew you were there with the children and would pray.” My mother led us all in prayer for her and miraculously she was healed. Wow! This stuff wasn't just theatrical stuff for television. It works even when children prayed in a basement of a church on a Wednesday afternoon.
Several years later, just before my 13th birthday I got sick, very sick. I remember having excruciating pain in my right knee. I had always been prone to “growing pains.” My mother would put stinky Ben-Gay on my ankles and legs. Then she would wrap them with flannel secured with a safety pin so I could sleep.
That first night as I literally writhed in pain she knelt by my bed and prayed. Of course, I had Ben-Gay and flannel but this was different. I had a fever as well. I don’t know what went through her mind at the time. I do know that her first response after the practical was to pray.
The next day the old Norwegian surgeon, Dr. Svensen, who treated everyone in the Norwegian community for everything came to the house with his black bag. I knew him because he’d be there before but never to see me. He called another doctor from our big black dial phone on the orange conversation table in our dining room. Later that day, this doctor also came to the house. He drew blood in my bedroom. He said they’d admit me to the Norwegian Lutheran Hospital as soon as they could.
It took a few days for a bed. Every day my mother prayed over my bed. I never got the bed in the new wing that looked like what I saw on Dr. Kildare. I had to go to the old wing. I was there for three weeks. I had Rheumatic Fever.
I was healed. No, I didn’t have the dramatic healing my friend had when the children prayed. Nevertheless, I had no lasting effects from the Rheumatic Fever. I had no heart defects typical of RF. My healing was just as supernatural as the instant healing of my friend.
Now I pray for people and seen a number of instant healings. Pain from migraines and pinched nerves, are gone with the last "amen." I’ve seen hot dogs multiply in a steamer to feed people. I’ve seen someone come to my door by Holy Spirit GPS.
Who said being a Christian was dull?