*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
Have you ever thought about attending a miracle service? I have, twice, when I was a child. Both times, I accompanied my mother, my aunt, and my uncle to the service. It was surreal.
The first time, a large group of us chartered a luxury bus, and we traveled across state lines to a large church known for its miracles. It's been so long that I can't remember the name or location of the church, but the name of the priest was Father McDonough. I couldn't find much about him when I researched him online, but I learned he passed away just last year at eighty-six.
When we arrived at the church, the driver told us to stay on the bus until they allowed us to go inside. Finally, they let us enter the church, which was already packed with people crying, praying, singing, and praising God.
After what seemed like hours, the priest appeared and sprinkled Holy Water on the faithful. Many of those he touched with the Holy Water slumped into their seats or fell onto the floor, allegedly passed out cold through the power of the Holy Spirit.
My uncle was one person who passed out and fell to the floor.
I'll never forget the sight of his body lying on the floor of the church with his toupee, perhaps three feet away from him. It had fallen off his head when he hit the floor and landed in a heap resembling a long-haired guinea pig. Until that day, I never knew my uncle wore a hairpiece. I found the knowledge more terrifying than seeing grown adults faint from a little Holy Water.
When my uncle woke up from his trance, if that's what it was, he said he felt amazing to be blessed by the Holy Spirit.
During the next part of the service, the priest called up people who had attended previous services and subsequently recovered from various ailments and diseases, which included paralyzation, blindness, and cancer. I found their testimonies to be fascinating.
Bolstering their testimonies were the hundreds of crutches, canes, and wheelchairs that lined the walls of the church. The outer aisles were so thick with abandoned mobility aids that we had to be careful not to trip on them when entering or exiting our pew.
The second time I attended a miracle service was very much like the first, with two exceptions. First, my uncle didn't lose his toupee when he fell on the floor. Second, the ride home was more memorable than the service itself.
As we rode home on the chartered bus, I heard someone exclaim that he'd seen the Holy Spirit flying above the bus on the highway, flapping massive wings. Other people joined in, with some people saying they had seen it and others complaining they hadn't.
I was not among the lucky few who saw the Holy Spirit that day. Neither was my mother, my aunt, or my uncle. Nonetheless, those who did see it sounded awfully convinced. I may never know what they truly saw, but I hope it was indeed the Holy Spirit.
No, there are no pictures. This happened before the prevalence of cellphones, and no one I knew had a Polaroid camera instant photo or developed film of the incident, unfortunately.