Thursday, July 09, 2020

The Importance Of Your Testimony As A Miracle Witness

In the comments section following my recent tribute to Maurice Grosse, I had a discussion with a commenter, Anthony, about a subject I want to expand upon here. It's significant, and it has implications beyond Enfield. He commented on how we haven't been hearing much lately from some of the Enfield witnesses. I discussed how common that sort of thing is (in life in general, not just in paranormal contexts), and I went into some of the reasons why it may happen in a given situation.

In the course of the discussion, I mentioned some examples of Enfield witnesses who have remained active in discussing the case and their involvement in it (Graham Morris and David Robertson). Another example who came to mind, though I didn't mention him there, is John Rainbow. You can go here to read a post I put up in January of 2019 about what Rainbow experienced and his importance as a witness. Something that's significant about him in this context is the situation surrounding his death. When Melvyn Willin was putting together his recent book on Enfield, he contacted some of the people involved in the original events to get their thoughts on the case a few decades later. Concerning Rainbow, he wrote:

Mrs Rainbow - the wife of John Rainbow a local tradesman who had witnessed Janet levitating - replied that unfortunately her husband had died in July 2018, but she confirmed that he had continued to believe that what he had seen was a genuine levitation. She added, "…he also had a witness who also saw what was happening [an apparent reference to Hazel Short]." (The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes [United States: White Crow Books, 2019], 117)

Notice how much had to be in place to produce that section of Willin's book. Rainbow would have to have an ongoing willingness to discuss the issues with other people. He did it to such an extent that his wife had the impression described above, that he held the belief in question until his death. And he'd made the relevant contact information available. His wife not only read the letter sent by Willin, but even responded to it and provided so much significant information and allowed her response to be published.

By contrast, think of how many people never tell anybody about such an experience they've had, only mention it once, don't provide any means of contacting them again later if the need arises, etc. How many witnesses' spouses would be willing to read a letter like Willin's, respond to it in such a valuable way, and allow the response to be published? Many people would be so apathetic, lazy, angry, or whatever that they wouldn't even do half that much. What Rainbow and his wife did is commendable, and I wish more people would do it.

If you've witnessed a miracle of some sort (or had some other significant experience), have you left any record of it for other people? Have you provided the relevant details to relatives, your church, or other people who could pass the information on to others over time? Have you made yourself available for further contact in case more information is needed? We should ask ourselves questions like these and apply the same scrutiny to ourselves that we apply to other miracle witnesses.


  1. I think many people don't want to be viewed poorly as "crackpots" or "weirdos", or whatever so they don't talk openly about experiences they've had with the supernatural or paranormal. Also having such experiences can be frightening. People may want to "forget about it" or push the memory away because it gives rise to uncomfortable or anxiety inducing feelings. People may also feel embarrassed by having such experiences and worry that if they tell others they may be perceived as braggarts (I'm special because this happened to me) or else as attention craving.

    People may also try to rationalize their experiences, "I was a little kid when I thought I saw that, it was probably my hyperactive imagination", or "maybe someone was playing a trick on me", or "I was half asleep and woke with a start so it was probably a waking dream", or "those kinds of things probably happen to people all the time, and I'm just oddly aware of the occurrences in my own life".

    1. Yes, those are some of the factors involved.

  2. On a related note, I left a comment a while ago on a YouTube video about NDEs that no one tells you about negative NDEs. Just this week, a woman mentioned she had a negative NDE where she saw a demon. Over some brief interaction, I could see she was relying on her own works and then was able to share the gospel, that she only has to rely on Jesus for salvation.

    It was amazing. I don't want people to get too deep into stuff like this, but not being closed gives us some openings too.

    1. That's encouraging to hear that you were able to share the gospel with her!

      By the way, several Triabloggers have mentioned hellish NDEs in the past (e.g. Jason, Steve, least of all the saints).