I was very angry as I left the hospital after visiting my dying friend. She was fighting for her life desperately, but the doctors gave her a very small chance at surviving . I was angry at her, at the doctors and even at myself.. her constant abuse of alcohol, various drugs and her reckless indulgences left her with a bad liver, and a bad heart.. and now the time has come to pay for these stupid excesses.
I did advise her repeatedly but she never heeded the warnings. She was the main provider for the family, and if she dies, she is going to leave behind her widowed elderly mother and two younger siblings .. a brother and sister. As a servant in the youth fellowship and as a friend, I tried to help out but at this point I did not know what to do ?
I drove around for a while aimlessly.. then I decided to go to church… there were a few people in the front talking to a priest and eventually they all left together … I was sitting alone in the last pew, so I raised my head to stare at the Crucifix atop the altar … my troubled thoughts kept wandering in every directions and it was impossible to concentrate… I worried about the sick friend and her family.. and then my mind suddenly jumped to another young man … all the servants tried to bring him back from the brink of destruction as he was heavily addicted to gambling .. which eventually lead him into other crimes of embezzlement and fraud… I was trying in vain to stop thinking at all.. just focus on the image of the Lord in front of me.. it was like all my training and past experiences have evaporated and an overwhelming feeling of desperation began to creep in and take hold of me.. finally my inner struggle exploded and I could not hold back the tears… I found myself mumbling under my breath the very words I knew I should not utter, “Why? Why my Lord… why don’t you come to take care of these things ? why do you let it get so bad? Why? You can easily resolve all this .. I know you can… why.. why ?”
“Do you think your love for them is greater than my love?” the voice was calm, clear and kind.
“Of course not.. ” I answered without raising my head up, “So what are you waiting for?”
“Loving others does not give you the right to take away their free will.” He answered quietly.
I stopped crying, and suddenly I shuddered, and whispered, “you mean they do not want to have their problems resolved? I thought they are desperately trying__”
“desperately trying to resolve their problems in their own ways.. the crooked ways that lead them there in the first place.. how many times you tried to advise each one about the dangers of their behavior? Think of the many servants who tried different ways to convince each one of them to come back and find the right help?”
“never give up.. that is the principle rule..” I hurried to answer, my voice trailing …
“Listen… do you know how many stars are in the milky way?” He asked gently
“the milky way? I don’t know.. what does that have to do with these problems?” I was irritated.
“Do you know which galaxies will be created today, or how many shall collide to form a super nova, well, let me make it closer to home… can you take care of the creatures at the bottom of the sea or those at the mountain slopes all over this planet where you live?” His voice was calm and sweet.
“Sorry, I don’t see the connection..” I said stubbornly, “I believe you can help your children resolve their problems in ways I cannot even comprehend … so what I am concerned with is.. do it.. do it please .. do it now” I had the image of my friend in her hospital bed tormenting me.
“your problem is that you have a one track mind-set .. you only think about the one person you care about.. while every event always involves a huge number of people surrounding that person…” He stopped for a moment, so I raised my head to see where he was.. but I could not see anything through my tears.. then He spoke again, “let me give you an example… your addict gambler Sam, is in great danger of being arrested. You know that.. fact is he shall be arrested in three days, and eventually he shall have to go to prison.. wait.. do not panic.. his experience in prison is going to change him completely. Not only shall he become a model believer, but he shall also become a good servant who shall influence many other inmates.. one of these inmates is going to be a great saint when he comes out of prison .. and he shall in due time, make the ultimate sacrifice of becoming a martyr while serving outside this country… so, now tell me… should I interfere now and miraculously force Sam to get over his addiction?”
“Sam.. a servant.. serve a martyr?” I was shocked
“of course you understand that if you go out and chatter about this to everyone, you may effectively shift the sequence of all these events.” He warned.
“I am sorry.. I had no idea this ____” I tried incoherently to apologize, but He interrupted me.
“I know how you feel and I am happy to see my children care so much about each other, but you must remind yourself always that my plan is far better than your emotional wishes.. now, you were wondering who needs a miracle… my child, you are the one who needs it.. and I am going to provide it for you .. you must get up and leave right away because a tornado is on its way to hit the road where you shall be driving.. do not be afraid, I shall not allow it to hurt your body .. I still have a lot of work for you to do.. now go “
I was struck by the last piece of information, and for a moment I froze … was I imagining all this ? then I wiped my eyes and tried to see clearly.. I was alone in the church .. or so it seemed … so I pulled myself up and ran to my car.. I was already scared as I drove off … I remembered that I had to stop by the supermarket for bread and milk. The place was unusually crowded and there were long lines at the cashiers.. actually I felt a sense of anxiety all around, or maybe it was just my confused state of mind.. anyway, finally I got back into my car and drove home..
I reached the highway and tried to speed up when suddenly I saw the twister in my rear view mirror approaching fast from my left side where there were a lot of trees and brush … a few seconds later, the whole scene changed … I felt the car being lifted up from the ground and just before It got air-born, a huge tree landed on the back seat and trunk planting me back into the ground … and I lost consciousness …
When I opened my eyes next, there were many people around my car .. I was pinned into my seat, and I heard one of them talking, “this is a miracle indeed, look at him, he has just opened his eyes”
“are you OK sir?” another voice came to my ears.
I did not answer immediately, but my attempt to move was futile… I was tied in place by the air bag and seat belt.. when the question was repeated, I answered, “Yes I am fine, just unable to move”
“well, we shall have to cut through and free you .. just stay put” the stranger said.
A few hours later, I was pulled out of the car and everybody marveled that I did not even have a single scratch on my body..
A week later, my friend died in the hospital.. and it turned out that she had an insurance policy which covered the family … somehow, her death was a profound motivator for her siblings to return to church. I don’t remember when Sam was arrested, and I moved away from that town .. but I was comforted that he was in the good hands of a very loving father… you see, now I no longer wonder about miracles.. I know that only when one is needed, one shall be provided…
Comment by Moe Thomas 5/8/2016
Nice read, illustrates how seemingly disastrous situations or mistakes can be the only means of our own benefit down the road. “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20) That’s like God making the best of our mistakes, but it would be ideal if that can be avoided altogether. The whole road of straying or addiction is a painful one. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:1)