Until an adult is confronted with the supernatural, it is quite normal to be a skeptic, or at least a doubter. For many of us, it’s easier to question, analyze, and dismiss than to simply believe. As a child, faith came more naturally than analysis for me. I can’t recall at what age the transition from child-like faith to doubt occurred. You will read in my story how my struggle with doubt collided with an undeniable experience.
The experience I’m sharing with you is a true personal story.
Before giving the details, I’d like to preface this supernatural event by admitting that, even now, 39 years later, I don’t fully understand why God chose to bless a skeptic in this manner. I still feel very undeserving all these years later, especially because I was full of doubt on that day.
It was Easter Day, 1974, when I headed to the hills with two other dirt bike enthusiasts to ride my new 185 cc motorcycle. As I recall, it was a beautiful day and all I could think of was getting some air between my bike tires and the earth. For those that love to ride, there’s nothing better than lifting off a mound of dirt like you’re headed toward the sun.
We were into the ride for what seemed to be an hour or so when I came to the top of this huge hill. It was very steep and had a small ravine at the bottom. At this point, I swallowed my hesitation and took off down the hill, crouched on the pegs of the cycle with my foot at the ready to break if the momentum built too fast. In the back of my mind, I remembered one of the rules of downhill cycling – never, under any circumstances, use only the front brake. So with this rule in mind, I headed downhill, unaware that my life would change forever.
Immediate panic struck me when, halfway down, my foot slipped off the bike peg, causing me to lose balance and sit on the seat. Now I was focused on keeping the bike upright and holding on, not using the front brake of course.
By the time I hit the bottom of the hill, went into the small ravine and up the other side, one of my friends saw me and my motorcycle go airborne and he said that, halfway through the flight, it was one of the most beautiful jumps he’d ever witnessed. But the opposite was true on the descent. My front tire was headed straight toward earth like the nose of a rocket headed towards terra firma. No sooner did the front of my bike make contact with the dirt, my body made contact with the bike.
Colliding face first, the full-face helmet, protecting my mouth and chin, was no match for the metal handlebars. The impact was so severe, two front teeth were immediately sheared off at the gum line. The impact contorted my spine and I lay motionless while my friends came to my aid. With blood flowing from my mouth and an inability to stand, I was carried to the car and rushed to the nearest hospital where the doctors advised me to spend the night for observation. But without health insurance at that time, I refused their advice, although I was in a lot of pain.
My friends took me from the hospital to my parents’ home where I lay on their sofa, waiting for Dad and Mom to return home. When they arrived, Mom was very concerned when she saw me and I could tell by the look on her face that I must have been in bad shape. Dad reminded me I should have never purchased that dirt bike against his advice. Not only were my spine and teeth hurting, so was my ego in disappointing Dad. As I recall, it was several days before I could leave the house. I could only sleep a few hours per night due to the pain in my back. Eating was tricky too, because even breathing through my mouth would send me through the ceiling (the roots to my front teeth were exposed). So until I could go to the dentist, I had to eat through a straw.
After weeks of discomfort, I decided to go for more x-rays and scheduled an appointment with an osteopath. He advised that I go to a surgeon, as there was nothing he could do for me. Apparently, my spine had been damaged to such an extent that, in his opinion, surgery would be my only option for recovery.
During the days that followed the accident, the discomfort from the sheared teeth improved, especially when the dentist finished two root canals and implanted some temporary replacements. But the back pain persisted and seemed the most uncomfortable when sitting or lying down. Even though I was advised to seek further medical options, it didn’t seem feasible at the time, due to the lack of insurance.
While all this was going on, I didn’t realize that a divine appointment was planned. It was during this time that I was working at a music store and invited a friend to church. Although I told her that I probably couldn’t sit through an entire service, we decided it would be fun to go together.
I suggested we visit a congregation that I didn’t normally attend, so my friend would have a good experience in a larger church setting. But coordinating our schedules was difficult. She had to cancel one weekend when a conflicting appointment came up and we finally settled on another date, unaware that God had planned a specific time and place for a miracle.
I stopped by her house Sunday morning and we headed to church. It was about 40 minutes to our destination so we had plenty of time to talk. I shared again that my back was very uncomfortable and I might decide to leave early if the discomfort worsened.
Once inside the church, I spotted a wheelchair-bound friend (a disabled Vietnam Vet.) I introduced him to my friend before the service started. Unknown to us, there was a special speaker scheduled that morning – a woman from China who had experienced various supernatural encounters. They introduced Nora Lam (who’s story would eventually be told in a movie). It was intriguing to hear about this far-away place. Five or ten minutes into her talk, she stopped abruptly and hesitated for several seconds. Then, some very unusual things started to take place. She said in broken English something about a woman that had a deaf ear – that God had healed her. Almost immediately, a woman rose to her feet and started screaming with joy, jumping enthusiastically. Nora asked her to come up front. All the while I was doubting the authenticity of this, and concerned about my friend’s reaction. How ironic – I was questioning the very presence of God that would soon be changing my life.
Nora asked the ecstatic woman a few questions, confirming one ear was deaf and now opened, and went on to give her talk as if this type of healing was quite normal. After a short time, Nora once again stopped and said there was a young man in the audience with back problems and: “God is going to heal you, please come forward.” I looked at my friend and asked, “I wonder if the Vietnam Veteran I introduced you to may be healed?” As I recall, she responded with a big-eyed smile and shrugged her shoulders.
A few seconds after Nora resumed her talk, she stopped again and asked that the young man who was in the motorcycle accident come forward. Even though I knew God was speaking through this woman, and I knew she was talking to me out of a crowd of perhaps 350 people, my split-second reaction was embarrassment. “I can’t stand and go forward” I thought to myself. But an instant later, I knew I had to respond, since God was so specific in revealing the details of my back problem to a woman from China. In the act of standing, all pain that I experienced just seconds before, immediately ceased, and I just stood there for a moment before heading toward the front.
Nora approached me with microphone in hand and asked if I was in a motorcycle accident. I confirmed this was true and that my pain had immediately vanished. I publicly gave praise to God. He not only healed me, but chose to do so in spite of my doubt and skepticism. I believe God even purposed for me to attend on that particular day, and revealed to a total stranger from China the reason why I needed supernatural healing.
As I returned to my seat, I noticed tears of joy streaming down my friend’s face, who by now was convinced, as I was, that this was a Holy encounter.
Years later, I don’t understand why God healed me, not someone else, especially with my skeptical attitude. I am truly grateful for His love and grace, in spite of me, and hope this story will bring glory to God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit.