To be, or not to be?
Approximately six weeks after my birth my parents were finally able to bring me home. I was their firstborn child, and parenthood was immediately taking a heart-wrenching toll. Just when it looked like all was going well, another challenge rose to meet us. When I was four months old I contracted polio and meningitis. This time I was treated at my hometown hospital, Union, in Terre Haute. I was totally paralyzed on my right side, had extremely high fevers, and was not expected to live. My parents were good people according to the general standards of that day, but they were not religious. In fact, there weren't hardly any Christians on either side of my parent's families. My paternal grandfather had taught Sunday School at one time, but that was a long time ago and he hadn't seen the inside of a church building in years.
Mom and Dad had some friends who were Catholics, as well as a distant aunt who was a nun. Some of these folks kindly offered to pray and light candles for me at their local Catholic parish. Oral Roberts was on television at that time with filmed broadcasts of his healing crusades. My mother watched his program and would pray with him at the end of the telecasts. Yet my condition seemed to grow worse. It would take several hours for my mother to feed me just two ounces of baby formula. My fever rose to a temperature of over 109 degrees. Finally one evening, the doctors told my mother to stay with me because they did not believe I would live through the night.
Mom sat in a chair and held me in her arms. There was a Gideon Bible in the hospital room and she picked it up and began to read. It was night. As she sat alone there in the hospital room, reading the 23rd Psalm, she suddenly felt a presence in the room. A warmth started at the top of her head and went down through her body and out of her arms into me. She heard an inner voice say, "This child is healed. He will be all right."
The next morning when the hospital shifts changed the nurses were surprised to find that I had lived through the night. They came to check on me as they normally did. In those days the nurses were not allowed to tell my mother anything about my condition. So Mom convinced one of the nurses to communicate with her in code. She asked the nurse examining me to smile if I was getting better or to frown if I were getting worse. The nurse agreed to do so. That morning, the nurse didn't smile, she yelled and took off down the hall looking for the doctors. When the doctors came in and examined me they announced, "This child's crisis is past." In a few days my parents were able to take me home, convinced that I had been healed by the power of God.