Pushing belief and faith to the limits was part of the full-gospel experience. No miracle was too big for god.
Even though were were still in high school, our spirit-filled youth group loved to attend the local Full-Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship meetings. The praise and worship was exhilarating and the speakers were charismatic.
There was one particular young woman who frequented these meetings as well, although she was in college. She always entered the room led at the elbow by a handsome young man. Not only did she seemingly have a new boy each time, but she was quite pretty and… she was blind. People were drawn to her, men in particular.
I remember the meeting where we gathered around her and prayed for god to restore her sight. The elders gathered around, anointed her head with oil and we all stretched our hands out and prayed the prayer of faith.
She was not healed.
But not to be detoured, we were all encouraged to continue our “positive confessions”, to “name it and claim it” in faith until the miracle was manifested in the flesh. “We’re going to speak it into existence in Jesus name!” one believer exclaimed in accordance with a passage in Romans we all loved to mis-quote.
We left the meeting saying out loud, “She’s healed in the name of Jesus! Praise the Lord!” This we did in spite of hard core evidence to the contrary.
In thinking on this event for this post, I remembered writing about it in an old diary. It took some serious digging this afternoon, but I found it.
“Went to hear the Lord teach through Norvel Hayes. [My boyfriend] liked it I guess … he’s gonna pick me up at 5:30. Jesus healed [the blind girl]!!! She was blind. [My boyfriend] picked me up, we went to church…”
The entry is curious and it makes me wonder … if I were to put that little diary in a time capsule and someone found it 1,000 years later, would the reader claim to have “documented proof” that the god of the bible restored sight to the blind? Would it strike anyone as suspicious that this incredible experience of god’s healing power was somehow buried between the mundane musings of a teen aged girl?
That tiny entry was nothing more than a fabrication woven from the threads of my patchwork faith. I thought I was taking god at his word.
I didn’t intend to lie. But that’s exactly what I did.