AN AMAZING FACT: Many years ago the Swamp United Church of Christ in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, celebrated the appearance of a strange lightning bolt. According to Evangelical Press news service, it seems that when circuit-riding preacher John Waldschmidt died in 1786, his wife could no longer hear or speak. During a church service six years later, lightning struck the cemetery outside. Upon investigation, say church records, the shocked congregation discovered that the bolt had split Waldschmidt’s tombstone in two—and that the widow was healed the same instant.
In 1911, Mrs. Jane Decker, a Connecticut resident who had been deaf since childhood, was cured of her deafness in a similar way. During a storm, a lightning bolt tore down through the roof of her house and shattered rafters, windows, and frames, stunning Mrs. Decker and her daughter. The 65-year-old woman had minor injuries and was sore for
several days, but her hearing was restored.
A farmer in Falmouth, Maine, also experienced a lightning cure in 1980. He had been involved in an accident with a tractor trailer and had lost his sight and hearing. One stormy day he was out in the farmyard searching for his pet chicken, Tuck-Tuck, when lightning struck him and blew the hearing aids right out of his ears. After recovering himself, he made his way back into the house, his sight and hearing miraculously restored.
Another unusual restoration of hearing occurred in the summer of 2011. Robert Valderzak, a patient in a VA hospital, had suffered from severe hearing loss for several months after fracturing his skull. Then, after a 5.8 earthquake that shook him from his bed, his son spoke to him and he heard his voice. Valderzak considered it a miracle.
Most of us have probably never had an experience like these people had, but it’s not hard to imagine their emotions as they realized their senses were restored. The people Jesus healed must have felt the same astonishment, joy, and gratitude to God.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.Mark 7:32-35