Note: The following is a chapter in the recently pubished book, What Prayer Can Do: A collection of articles written by Ada Nicholson Brownell, published by The Pentecostal Evangel.
GOD INSTANTLY RESTORED MY FATHER’S SIGHT
By Lorraine Golightly as told to Ada Brownell
I became a believer in divine healing because I saw my father receive his sight when he was prayed for in a revival meeting.
The accident that caused Daddy’s blindness happened in 1950. I was 9 years old.
Daddy (John Feliciano) was doing construction work in Honolulu, Hawaii, where we lived, when dynamite exploded in his face. One eyeball was completely destroyed; the other was damaged considerably. The blast was so severe that doctors said Daddy should have been dead. Tiny pebbles embedded in his skin all over his body.
“Daddy probably will never see again,” Mom told us when she got home from the hospital.
I was panic-stricken.
“There’s still hope,” said Aunt Virginia, who had come home with Mom. “Jesus can heal your daddy.”
We didn’t know what to think of that. Daddy liked Aunt Virginia, but wouldn’t even let her talk about her religion in our house. When Daddy saw people from her church in street meetings, he’d always yell at them, “You crazy holy rollers!”
Daddy went to church, however, and believed in God. He just didn’t like Aunt Virginia’s kind of religion.
When he came home from the hospital, he had no hope of a miracle. His eyes were in bandages, and he was very depressed.
“I’ve got seven children to support!” he’d say several times a day. “How can a blind man feed seven children? I might as well be dead!’
It was true that he couldn’t support us. Soon we had to live on welfare.
Surgeons hoped surgery would give Daddy sight in his remaining eye, but the operations were unsuccessful. After the last operation, the eye doctor told him there was nothing more they could do for him. There was no hope he ever would see again.
Because of his youth (Daddy was 31 when he was injured) he immediately was trained in a school for the blind. He learned braille and how to use a seeing-eye dog. He even learned how to feel money so he could tell denominations apart.
Yet he remained depressed and saw no reason for living.
“I’ll never be able to see my family again,” Daddy groaned one day. “I can’t take being blind. Killing myself is the only way out.”
Mom tried to talk him out of his despondency, but without success. He actually intended to commit suicide.
Finally, Mom called Aunt Virginia and asked her to come over and talk to my father.
As soon as Aunt Virginia got inside she began talking to Daddy about the Lord and told him what Jesus could do.
“We’re going to have a revival, and the evangelist will pray for the sick,” Aunt Virginia continued. “Will you come?”
“I guess I can try,” Daddy answered, “but I don’t believe it will do any good.”
When the revival started, my aunt and uncle, Dad and Mom, and all of us seven children went to the Pentecostal church. After the lady evangelist preached, it was time for prayer for the sick. Mom took Daddy by the arm and led him to the healing line.
The meeting was in a large church and people were getting healed and praising the Lord. Daddy couldn’t see what was happening around him, but he could hear, and he was scared. He began shaking.
One woman who was healed of deafness gave a big shout when her ears opened. Daddy was more frightened than ever.
Then it was his turn.
“Do you believe in Jesus?” the evangelist asked Daddy.
She began praying that Daddy would receive his sight. Nothing happened.
“Do you really believe?” she asked my father again.
She put her hand on Daddy’s eye and prayed again. Suddenly he began to shout, “I can see! I can see!”
“What do you see?” the evangelist asked.
“I can see shadows,” he cried. “Thank God.”
“The Lord isn’t through yet,” the lady minister told him. “Now believe! Believe!” She began praying for Daddy again.
“Come here,” the evangelist told us children, and we went to the front. I was scared and crying as she lined us all in front of my father.
We discovered the shadows had disappeared, and Daddy could see clearly. One by one we went to him and let him look at us. As he called each child—Margaret, Priscilla, Lorraine (me), Elenore, Johnny, Gordon, and the baby Diane, who was 3 years old, he hugged and kissed us and we cried together.
My sister Margaret and I accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior that night. Mom and Dad did too. One by one the rest of the children gave their lives to the Lord, and all of us are still serving God.
After he was healed, Daddy was supposed to go back to the doctor, so he kept his appointment. The physicians didn’t believe it when he told them he could see. They were amazed when they took tests and discovered he recovered his sight.
“God did it,” Daddy said.
Daddy had served God faithfully for 19 years when he went to be with the Lord.
I’m glad God’s healing power is available to us today. Doctors thought my sister had a brain tumor, but after she was prayed for, they could find nothing.
I had an annoying, persistent ear problem accompanied by dizziness and ringing in my ears, which doctors couldn’t seem to help and over which I couldn’t get victory. Then I remembered how God instantly healed Daddy of blindness, and knew the Lord is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” Immediately the ear problem disappeared.
Now I can say with the Psalmist, ‘Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what He did for me: for I cried to Him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But He listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying and didn’t refuse me His kindness and love” (Psalm 66:16-20 Living Bible paraphrase).
The Pentecostal Evangel, October 16, 1977