Sizemore: Miracles still happen

My Daughter’s Verifiable Miracle
By Bill Sizemore

Miracles still happen. God still heals people. At times, He does things so clearly supernatural that skeptics can deny them only because they choose to. In the first case that I am going to share with you, one truly has to stretch the boundaries of disbelief and cynicism to discount what happened.

My sixteen year old daughter, Becky, is too young and too full of life to be suffering serious back problems. Nevertheless, she was. In fact, Becky had been suffering inexplicable lower back problems for quite some time before the night she received prayer.

In Becky’s case, there was no serious accident to point to and no memorable injury that any of us could recall. She simply had a back problem and it was causing her pain and discomfort. First, though, here is a little background:

I became a patient of Dr. Scott Wallace, a well respected Klamath Falls chiropractor, early in May of this year. One evening this past April a full-sized pick-up, speeding along at about 60 miles per hour, crashed broadside into the driver’s door of my pick-up a couple of blocks from my Klamath Falls home. I thought I was going to buy the farm.

Thankfully, I was alone in the vehicle that evening and though I could easily have been killed, only suffered a wrenched back and a few bruises. Both pick-ups were a total loss.

I needed a good chiropractor and thankfully was referred to Dr. Scott Wallace, a good conservative and a skilled practitioner. After I had paid the good doctor a few visits in an attempt to alleviate my stiffness and discomfort, my daughter began asking me to make an appointment for her, which I eventually did.

The first thing Dr. Wallace does with most new patients is take a series of x-rays to determine the status of their neck, back, and pelvic region before commencing therapy. On Becky’s first visit, after taking the x-rays and reviewing them, Dr. Wallace called me into the x-ray display room. There he showed me Becky’s x-rays and solemnly informed me that my daughter’s pelvic basin was grossly distorted. In fact, he said Becky’s rotated pelvis was one of the worst cases he had ever seen and might even threaten her ability to bare children, at least naturally

I stared at the x-rays in stunned disbelief. The image was clear. So clear, in fact, that the distortion in Becky’s pelvis was even obvious to the untrained eye. Dr. Wallace told me he would be happy to treat her, but did not know how successful treatment would be, because one leg was 15mm. shorter than the other and the pelvis was rotated 20mm.

We decided to go ahead and let him commence therapy. A couple of months passed and one night Cindy and I got a call from Becky, who was at the youth service at our local church. “Jesus healed my back tonight,” she said excitedly. “Pastor Wes decided to pray for kids who needed healing and I had him pray for my hip,” she explained.

Before we could respond, she continued, “It was a miracle. I felt my hip move when he prayed for me and I want to get a new x-ray so I can show people what the Lord did for me.”

We rejoiced with her over the phone and also later when she returned home, but never made an appointment for new x-rays. It wasn’t that we didn’t believe God heals people. I have seen and experienced a few miracles myself, so I know God does such things. It was just that I didn’t want to get a new x-ray for Becky and see my daughter disappointed, if nothing was evident on the film.

However, it was my daughter who had felt the movement in her body the moment she was prayed for, and she was not to be denied by a cautious father. She kept insisting that we schedule her a new appointment. Before finally relenting, I asked her to explain one more time what it felt like when she was prayed over, to which she responded, “Well, it kind of hurt. I felt things move inside me.”

That was the last straw. On my next visit, I told Dr. Wallace Becky’s story, to which he simply responded, “Bring her in and we’ll take a look.”

It had been three weeks since she had last seen Dr. Wallace when my wife took her in to get new x-rays. Sometime that morning, I saw I had missed a call on my cell phone and had a new voicemail. It was from my daughter, telling me to please go to Dr. Wallace’s office and check out the new x-rays. Her voice sounded excited. Apparently, the news was good.

I jumped into my truck and hurried in to see the results for myself. When I arrived at the chiropractor’s office, I asked the lady at the front desk if I could see my daughter’s miracle x-rays. She smiled broadly and informed me that she had been bouncing around the office all morning after seeing the x-rays for herself. She quickly put them up on the screen for me to look at while we waited for the doctor to come in.

There they were, plain as day, two very different looking x-rays. The skeletal parts looked the same, but they were sort of in different places and at different angles. The doctor had drawn lines on the new X-rays where he had measured the new alignments, especially in my daughter’s pelvic region. Where the lines were diagonal on the old film, they were horizontal on the new ones. The spine, which was way off to one side in the old film, was right down the middle in the new one. The changes in alignment were major and undeniable.

Finally, the doctor came in and in more technical terms pointed out to me the differences between the two films. I asked him to explain the differences in writing, so I could share our family’s happy news with others. Here is what he wrote, rather dispassionately.

“Becky presented with chronic Low Back pain. Her initial x-rays demonstrated a significantly rotated pelvis (20mm) and an insufficient (short) right leg (15mm). Her pelvic basin was as a result, grossly distorted. Several months later, Becky reported a “pop” in her hip that occurred while being prayed over in a healing service. She requested follow-up x-rays to validate her sense that her pelvis was well. Subsequent x-rays demonstrated a marked change in her pelvis. Her leg length differential was 2mm and the rotation in her pelvis was negligible. Additionally her pelvic basin appeared normal and symmetrical.”

Before writing this column, I asked the doctor during a subsequent visit, if there was any way Becky could have been standing funny when the first x-ray was taken. He informed me that he watches for that when he takes x-rays and that if she had been standing funny, other things in the x-ray would have been twisted as a result. He pointed out that in both x-rays her spine was nice and straight, because in both cases she was standing straight.

God had healed my daughter. No question about it. That is the only explanation. I asked Becky this evening, three weeks after she received prayer, if her back bothered her anymore. She smiled her amazing smile and replied, “No. Not at all.”

I don’t know why God heals some people and not others, but in my daughter’s case her back pain is gone and the x-rays show that something very major occurred deep within her body, in the very structure of her frame. It happened suddenly, in one moment, right when her youth pastor was praying for her and she felt it. All we can say is: The Lord is good and His power is great.

I am going to share two more short stories with you. Some will say I am a religious crackpot for believing this stuff and foolish for sharing these stories, but frankly, I would be a fool not to believe, given my own experiences. As for the wisdom of sharing them, the only reason for not doing so is fear of what others will think. That is not a godly kind of fear and thus is to be resisted. So, I hereby resist it. Besides, God should be praised for the great things He does.

I once saw a woman prayed for because one leg was shorter than the other and her condition was causing her constant back pain. I have seen many people prayed for to cure such a condition, and because it is such an easy condition to fake, I was skeptical that anything real would happen. Man, was I in for a surprise.

While the woman was being prayed for, her legs were extended over a chair, so their lengths could be compared. They appeared to be of noticeably different lengths, but as I said, I was skeptical. People can easily move their legs back and forth.

Suddenly, however, as the man prayed for this woman, the calf and shin portion of her leg became blurry and extended a few inches right in front of my eyes. It was a miracle of Biblical proportions. Sure, it wasn’t the parting of the Red Sea, but it was probably more difficult, if you can say such things of God’s acts.

Immediately, I turned to the young Methodist lady sitting next to me in the room and saw that she was looking back at me. “Did you see what I just saw,” she whispered. “Yes,” I replied. “Her leg just got blurry and changed before our eyes.” She nodded in agreement.

What I saw that night reminded me of what happened on the old Star Trek series, when Scotty would beam someone up, only it didn’t look like a special effect. It looked like a body part changing before our eyes.

To his credit, the man praying over the woman made no big deal of the miracle we had just witnessed. He simply moved on to the next person requesting prayer. A few moments later, he prayed for a man in a wheelchair, but nothing happened.

I don’t know why. I don’t pretend to know why God does what He does. Sometimes, in the Gospels, Jesus healed one man in a crowd of sick folks and then moved on. His reasons are His.

I could tell many more stories. I have seen a few miracles that are too fantastic to share with an audience as wide as this column enjoys. They would stagger some folks. But in closing let me share a simple one, a personal one that meant a lot to me at the time. I was snorkeling in Tahiti back in the late seventies with a friend of mine from Bible College. The water was so clear and beautiful and the marine life so amazing that I foolishly stayed out in the water, snorkeling with my back to the midday tropical sun for nearly three hours. As white as I was, twenty minutes was probably too long.

By nightfall, the pain of my sunburn was excruciating. I have never felt anything so agonizing. It was like my back was on fire. Upon reflection, I should have been flown back to the main island to a hospital or clinic. The burn was that bad. It was “throw up in the shower” bad.

Our thatched hut had an oversized shower, so I lay there under the cool water for a while trying to ease the pain, but the relief from the cool water was minor and short-lived. I eventually walked into the bathroom and filled two glasses of water and set them beside my bed. When the pain would become unbearable, I would pour cool water over my back.

Sometime that evening, my traveling partner got up to use the bathroom and heard me groaning in agony as he walked past my bed. “Is there anything I can do for you, brother,” he asked.

“I could use some fresh glasses of water,” I replied.

“Let me pray for you,” he answered. And he did.

Instantly, and I do mean instantly, as he prayed, the pain stopped. It stopped completely and never came back. I fell asleep and the next day we continued our vacation, as if nothing had happened. Only from then on, I was a lot more careful about how long I stayed out in the sun. My serious sunburn was a result of my own foolishness, but for His own reasons, God healed me. And let me tell you, I appreciated it at the time and still do.

Some people will read these stories and praise God for His goodness and power. Others will doubt that these stories are true, probably because they don’t want to believe them. Others will simply ignore the significance of what happened. You see, there is a God. His name is not Allah or Buddha or the Reverend Moon. In each of these stories and many more that I know of, prayers of faith were prayed in the name of Jesus Christ and were prayed by people who believe in Him and the power of His name. God heard those prayers and answered them.

He transcended the laws of nature, at least as we understand those laws. He did so for His own reasons. He showed his power and He showed his love, but as the Gospels demonstrate, people who choose not to believe will not believe. Miracles will not sway them. In their pride and intellectualism, they will find a way to discount them.

As for me, I thank God for what He did in these and many other circumstances of which I am aware. And had I not seen or experienced them, I still would believe, because I believe all of the miraculous accounts recorded in scripture. Every one of them. But I won’t lie. It is nice to enjoy a few firsthand. Thanks, Lord, for that.