Dr. Michael Thomas
It was getting on toward the end of the day last Thursday when one older couple came in to the office for a visit. I immediately noticed that the husband was doing much better than he had been. He was watching the activity in the room and aware of me as I walked up. I could see that his ankles were also much smaller than they had been for the last few months. His kidneys had been failing and his diabetes had been difficult to control. Today however, he looked like he had turned a corner for the better.
I saw his wife first and worked with her. Then she stayed as I began to work with her husband. As I was finishing up, his wife said,
What do you think about his ankles?
I lifted up his pant legs and touched his ankles. The pedal edema (swelling from fluid retention) that usually left a dimple after my finger pressed into his skin was gone. There was no obvious edema at all. As I looked up at him, he was smiling broadly, a twinkle in his eye.
His wife asked me,
Do you believe in guardian angels?
Sure, I said, and they both looked at each other.
After a moment, the husband began to speak.
Last Friday, he began, we were driving down 200 when we went past a van that was pulled over on the side of the road. The hood was up and a man was walking down the road toward Sullivans Chevrolet.
His wife took over.
Normally, we would never stop, but I turned to (her husband) and said, ˜do you think we should turn around and pick him up?
She related that they did turn around and pick him up and that the gentleman had been very grateful. Sensing that they were church going folks, he asked where they worshipped. They had told him and he said he knew of that church. He said that perhaps he would visit one Sunday. He then began to talk of his miraculous healing through prayer that had occurred when he was almost completely wheelchair bound. Now he walked without even the aid of a cane. At hearing this story, the couple related some of the husbands infirmities and their fear that his kidneys might soon fail. Immediately their newfound passenger began praying for Gods Grace in this matter. The prayer was long and heartfelt. Arriving at a service station, they let their passenger out. There were warm goodbyes all around. As the fellow walked away, they realized that they didn’t even know his name.
The weekend continued and by Monday morning, they knew something miraculous had occurred. The husbands mind had cleared and he was nearly his old self again. His hips had completely stopped their chronic ache and he was walking without staggering. Even more amazing, his legs had returned to the shape that they had been before the swelling had squeezed his skin so tight.
As I related earlier, I was seeing them on that Thursday and he was still experiencing the same happy changes. The difference was quite remarkable. Bonnie had even noticed the obviously positive change in him from her desk.
Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. They didn’t just happen in Palestine two thousand years ago. They happened last week in a car traveling down 200. One is happening right now. They happen all the time. They happen to those who ask. They happen to those who can let love and grace permeate their defenses. They happen to those who don’t even know they are possible. Grace occurs because we are, each of us, loved by God, unconditionally.
Churches aren’t just made of lumber and brick, stone and mortar. They are made in a meeting of sincere hearts. Last week, a prayer angel led a congregation of three folks in a rolling service down the asphalt of Highway 200. The service was short and exceedingly blessed. And perhaps, in the midst of a generous act of service, a place was opened for the grace of God to enter and lessen the husbands suffering. We are, each of us, Gods eyes and hands in this world; and in our acts of service, we are blessed more than we even know. And who knows what angels walk among us?
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a story like this. In fact, I hear them almost every day. Sometimes they happened twenty or thirty or more years ago but the impact they made is still incredibly precious to the person telling the story. Such an event or events, often seem to create a foundation from which a person can build a life of abiding faith in God. Many of us live our lives in the light of our own personal knowledge of Gods grace. Love is always waiting to saturate our actions and spill over onto those we touch.
There are moments when we feel close to God and there are times when we feel far from love; times when all of us feel alone and disconnected. We cant imagine that miracles could ever touch our own lives. We might even wonder if grace really exists.
This is why they’re called miracles.