I met Ray one day as I studied for a Russian class. He too was taking Russian and we exchanged greetings in Russian. He had an easy smile and a cocky altitude that said, "I can do anything and don't mess with me". I'm small in comparison to the average American male being five ft. two inches, Ray looked just a little bit bigger at maybe five six. I think this is what made me keep an eye on him; he seemed like a little volcano. We chatted about the books we used for our Russian studies and found that we also loved to play handball.
Days later I went to see Ray play in a tournament where he finished in the semifinals; this really impressed me since I had never gone beyond the quarterfinals. He played very aggressive and had a unique way of killing the ball. Killing is an art form of hitting the ball so low that your opponent can not hit it back to you. We also had some other things in common but the best of these was that Ray loved Jesus and once he saw that I spoke of him as a friend he opened up and we talked of our common faith.
We became friends and I saw him at least once a day in the park or around the hand ball courts which he loved. Ray also loved to work out and spent a lot of his free time doing pushups and chin-ups which made him look enormous for his size. The biggest difference between us was our age, he was thirty two and I was sixty. He was just starting to live life and I had already live out most of mine. Ray always had a smile for me no matter the circumstances, he always came by to say hello which bought a smile to me also.
When I spoke about Jesus to Ray I spoke of the only Jesus I had ever known, the Jesus who did miracles and healed people. I had never known the religious Jesus which so many talked about; to me he was a living person who did miracles when they were needed. Ray loved this and would ask me about the miracles I had seen. Some days I would go on and on about John G Lake, and Marie Woodworth Etter, Smith Wigglesworth, and other healers of the past. Neither of us went to church because we desired to see the Lord doing miracles and the church never taught on them and if they did they had none to show. So we built up each other's faith by talking about God as often as was possible.
I also had a friend by the name of James Wells who was a superb athlete and both a champion racket ball player and hand ball player. He challenged Ray to a handball game and I was picked to be the line man. We all met in the park on a beautiful spring day to see who could beat who, though really no one could beat James who lived to do sports and weights. The game got underway and James beat Ray in the first game. Ray being cocky as always wanted a rematch right away and the second game got underway. I could see that Ray was struggling just to stay in the game against James when he cried out and fell on the ground. Both James and I stood over Ray asking him what was wrong and all he could do was cry out in pain. He had broken his ankle in his zeal to beat James. We didn't know what to do and I thought of praying for him and then decided not to.
I was in a fix, I who was always talking about Jesus healing the sick was now looking at a friend who had a broken ankle and was in great pain. I decided to walk away and let James call a doctor. As I walked away I felt better and told myself I had done the right thing, really, who knew if Jesus really would have healed him, and if he didn't I would look like a fool, or worse a bubbling idiot. But I had not gone one hundred feet when I said to myself, "God this man is my friend who always has a smile for me, how can I let him down". I turned around and went back to Ray. As I looked down at him I asked him if he thought Jesus could heal him to which he said, "Yes I know he can heal me".
I sat down, took hold of his ankle and prayed this prayer, God please help my friend who is just trying to get through this day. We don't deserve anything from you and we can't pay for what you do, but if you can help us we would be grateful all our lives. Having said that the power of God fell instantly on Ray and he sprang up as if he had been infused with two hundred twenty volts of electricity. The first words out of his mouth were, "the pain has stopped, Jesus healed me in an instant". People were coming from all around to see what the commotion was all about and Ray was smiling and telling everyone that Jesus had healed him of a broken ankle. James was in shock because he had never witnessed anything like this before. Still in shock he said, "Let's finish the game". Ray stopped talking long enough to finish the game which he lost to James.
The one thing I got to admire the most about Ray after this was his willingness to talk about what Jesus had done for him. He told everyone he came in contact with and especially if I was there to confirm that yes, it was true, Jesus had healed him in a moment of great pain and difficulty. Years later he would still remind me of that one special day when the heavens had opened for him and God had come to his rescue.
About Author / Additional Info:
I write about faith in the power of God and the supernatural way He can intervene in any situation which you give to him.