An American Original: Oral Roberts

The YouTube video is almost too corny to believe. The year is 1955. A young boy, about 6 and afflicted with polio, is sitting on Oral Roberts’s lap. With praise and prayer, the preacher touches the boy all over his legs, ankles and feet, begging the Lord to restore movement to the limp and paralyzed limbs. “Oh, Jesus,” he says, “let his little limbs be healed.” Then a look of astonishment crosses the boy’s face. He lifts his legs, one by one. And it happens: in one of perhaps millions of miracles Roberts performed in his lifetime, the little boy hops off the preacher’s lap and walks away.