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JESUS...BE REAL

I WANT IT TO BE REAL

          The station wagon and moving truck, loaded to capacity, moved slowly through the busy Central Avenue traffic in Albuquerque.  Across the street from the New Mexico State Fairgrounds and next door to Ace Cafe was Ruby’s Novelties.  One customer was browsing though the magazine rack while the older woman stood behind the cash register.  The bell over the door jingled as we entered, and Grandma Underwood’s face lit up.
          “Well, look what the wind blew in!” she exclaimed as she came around the counter and hugged each of us. (I noticed, with some pride, that she was a few inches shorter then me.)
          “We thought we’d stop and see you on our way to Socorro,” Mom said.
The customer walked up to the counter and laid a magazine near the cash register.
          “Go on back, I’ll be there in a moment,” Grandma said to us.
          Her living quarters were connected to the store.  There was one large room, which consisted of kitchen, two chairs, and a television set.
Off the kitchen, through a door, was a small bedroom.
          Deryl and Mom sat at the kitchen table, poured two cups of coffee and lit their cigarettes.
          Bronco and I perched in front of the playing television.  A man with black hair, wearing a white shirt, was preaching. I reached to change the channel...
          “You will see sick people healed by the power of God!” the preacher said dynamically.
          I pulled my hand back and sat on the edge of the chair.
          On the screen, a man walked up and stood in front of the preacher.
          “What’s your problem, brother?” the evangelist asked.
          “Brother Roberts, I have a stomach ulcer.”
          The black haired evangelist placed the palm of his hand, with pressure, on the man’s head.
          “In the power and authority of Jesus Name, be healed!”
          The man he prayed for was excited!
          “I felt heat in the pit of my stomach...I’m healed!”
          “Praise the Lord brother,” the preacher exclaimed with a big smile.
          The next person was a woman whose neck was swelled grossly under her chin.
          “How long have you had this goiter?”
          “For years,” the woman answered.
          Placing his hand on the growth, the preacher closed his eyes and raised his head slightly upward.
          “In the powerful Name of Jesus Christ, I curse you goiter and command that you wither and disappear!”
          When he finished his prayer, the camera showed the woman’s neck and the growth was gone.
          I glanced up at Grandma, who had just walked into the room and was standing next to me watching the television.
          “Did you see that woman’s goiter disappear?” I asked in amazement.
          “It seemed that way, but I’m not convinced those healings are real,” the older woman replied skeptically, “I watch Oral Roberts every Sunday, but I’m not sure that it isn’t rigged somehow.”
          She crossed the room, poured a cup of coffee, and began visiting with Deryl and Mom.
          “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” the man preached, “He still saves and heals today!”
          After the program, I walked through the store and stared across at the fairgrounds.  My thoughts kept returning to the evangelist and the apparent healing.  Were they real?  Did Jesus still do miracles today?  I remembered the stories I had heard in Sunday school,.in Montana...Jesus had healed a man with leprosy; He had walked on top of the water towards a boat filled with frightened men; He had fed thousands with two fish and five loaves of bread.  It would have been wonderful to live then and to see Jesus.  Was it possible to know Jesus now?  The preacher said Jesus was the same today as He was then.  With all my heart I hoped that Jesus was real and that He was the same as He had been.  I hoped the power of God could really be experienced.