The evangelist, Smith Wigglesworth (1859 – 1947) preached his message to a large crowd gathered in the auditorium. Afterward, he prayed for a long line of sick people.
Wigglesworth’s style was to walk up to a sick person and ask in a thick cockney accent, “What’s up?” Next, the person would explain his illness. Then, Wigglesworth would pray for the person.
On this particular night, as Wigglesworth moved along the line of people, he came to a man lying on a hospital bed with a doctor attending him. Wigglesworth stopped and looked at the strange scene. “What’s up?” he asked.
The doctor looked up. “My patient has stomach cancer and is near death. His last request was to come to your meeting,” said the doctor. “At best, he has only a couple of hours left before he dies.”
“Look out, man,” said Wigglesworth, indicating with his hands that the doctor needed to back away from the patient for a moment. The doctor obeyed.
Then, Wigglesworth forcefully hit the sick man in the stomach with his fist while proclaiming, “Be healed in Jesus’ name.”
The sick man curled up on the bed. The doctor stood up. “You’ve killed him!” the doctor screamed. “You’ll be sued by the man’s family.”
Wigglesworth looked at the doctor. “Shut up!” he said in a gruff voice. “He’s healed.”
Then, Wigglesworth turned his back on the doctor and the patient and continued on down the line to pray for the next person.
Sumrall stated that he and the whole audience had their eyes glued on the doctor and his patient, rather than watching Wigglesworth. The doctor frantically held his stethoscope to the patient’s chest, but the patient showed no life at all.
After a few minutes, the patient sat up in bed and swung his legs over the side of it. Then, he raised his hands in the air, worshipping God, and walked toward Wigglesworth who was busy praying for people, farther down the line.
The man’s hospital robe was open in back and his bare butt could be seen by everyone. No one laughed or said anything as they watched the man walk up to Wigglesworth and tap the evangelist on the shoulder.
Wigglesworth turned around and looked at the man. “Well, man,” proclaimed Wigglesworth, “you’re healed. Give the Lord all the glory.”
Then, Wigglesworth continued to pray for sick people in the line. He paid no more attention to the man while the man danced around with his arms in the air, praising the Lord for his healing. All the while, the man’s bare rump was exposed to the audience.
Smith Wigglesworth and his ministry are exciting examples of the gifts of healing, the gift of faith and the gift of effecting of miracles at work in a person’s life. He himself believed and taught that any believer could perform the miracles he did.
Just before Smith Wigglesworth died in 1947, he said, “In the future, it will be harder to heal people by the power of God because the people of today have so many other options to choose from.”
(Continued in Part 2)