Back in the 1970s I went to a Kathryn Kuhlman rally at a huge stadium, which was packed with 10,000 people. I was a baby Christian and had read some of her books, yet while everyone else seemed to be happy and excited I was busy being analytical and skeptical.
I had a seat near the stage, because my ex-husband was a news photographer and he was standing right in front of the stage with the mostly atheist (we knew them socially) reporters and photographers.
After some music, Kathryn swooped out on stage in a long white dress, a little old lady weighing in at about eighty pounds. She sang snatches of songs (badly) and preached a bit (not very well.) She said over and over that she couldn’t heal anybody; if she could she would go directly to the children on the stretchers in the back. She said if God didn’t show up, nothing at all would happen.
After awhile she grew still and then began to say stuff like, “Fourth seat to the right, middle aisle, you have been blind in your right eye, but now you can see.” “First row balcony, fifth seat from center, you have not been able to lift your left arm, but now you can.” “Come up front and thank God.”
She continued this for a few hours, naming very specific medical complaints. People who came up were shocked, some were not believers; one guy said he was a Jehovah’s Witness. She said, “God loves Jehovah’s Witnesses.” She touched them and they fell backward and lay peacefully on the floor.
I watched the news photographers. They started glancing at each other and stepping backward. They didn’t want to fall back and break their expensive Nikons. Atheists or not, something powerful was going on.
“What’s going on?” I asked myself. She turned with her arm outstretched and one hundred people went down, even those who didn’t see her because they had their back to her. Something like electricity hovered in the air.
I tried to figure it out all the way home and woke up, the next morning, a Sunday, with a migraine. That morning in the church ladies room, a Mennonite woman asked me what I thought of the rally. “Lots of people seemed to get healed, but I got a migraine.” She laughed and said, “Sometimes you just have to stop trying to figure it all out and rejoice.”
“Maybe so,” I thought. But it would be hard to give up the habit of a lifetime. As I went through the ladies’ room door into the sanctuary, I realized my migraine was gone.
Maybe you are a believer and you are thinking, “Of course, God heals people, O ye of little faith.” Maybe you are a materialist and are mentally running through a list of material explanations. Maybe you are like I was and you have a moderate explanation, like “the power of suggestion.”
If so, we really need to look into that power of suggestion. A lot of the people from these rallies went back to their doctors, as Kuhlman told them to, and had their healings confirmed.
Oh, and maybe we should take the Mennonite’s woman’s advice:
“Sometimes you just have to stop trying to figuring it all out and rejoice.”