Friday, 28 June 2013

7QT Vol 11: The Miracle Edition

So I notice I start a lot of blog posts with 'So' like we're already in the middle of a conversation. But that's the charm of blogs, isn't it? They're like chats over tea, not essays, or dissertations, or formal letters. Anyway, what were we talking about? Right, miracles.

I have often wondered why people who have witnessed or experienced miracles don't talk about them all. the. time. How do you even know the strange and awesome things people have seen unless they tell you? Unless you're me, and you ask people "Have you ever witnessed a miracle?" Which if you knew me, would not surprise you at all to hear. I know miracles are not conclusive proof for the existence of God, because everybody comes us with some random other explanation for them (like your positive thoughts healed you, or something), but they sure do help in strengthening a faith that has already passed a logical test. And maybe for some people, it opens your mind to even consider the rational reasons to believe in something more than the material world.

So I decided you are the lucky audience who will hear some (not all) of the awesome and strange miracles that I have experienced or witnessed, or in some way been a part of. You are very welcome.

---1---

I'd like to introduce myself as the patron saint of people who want babies. Actually, what I will really be the patron saint of, is of course, humility, but one of my lesser patronages is wanted pregnancies. When I was a little kid, my mum and dad told me about a couple who had been married seven years (I think) and really wanted to have a baby. They asked which of us wanted to take the couple up as a our special prayer intention, and for some reason, I decided it was mine. Night after night, I faithfully prayed for them, even mixing up their names when it was late and I was sleepy, but I just HAD to pray that 'K and C have a baby'. And yay, a few months later they conceived, and I was invited as a guest of honour, to their son, A's 1st birthday party. He is now a gangly teenager who I see at Mass occasionally.

---2---

I take after my mum. One of her cousins had come to visit us with his wife about ten years ago. They had been married about seven years too, and no babies. This being India, where personal questions are not considered extremely rude, my mum asked them, "Do you WANT a baby?" (We didn't want to waste our prayers on people who were deliberately avoiding pregnancies.) They said "Yes!" and enthusiastically asked for our prayers... a year later they had their first son, followed by two little rascals in the years that followed.

---3---

Wait, there are more! My mum had been visiting France (doesn't that sound la-di-dah and fancy?) for another cousin's wedding, and was doing a little sightseeing with another cousin's wife, J, in Paris. J was American, and Protestant. They visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, and her cousin's wife asked what was behind all the candle-lighting. My mum explained that we asked Mary to pray for our special intentions. Struck by this, J asked if she could light a candle for her and her husband who ALSO had been married for several years, to have a baby. And yes, within a few months they were pregnant too, and now have a little girl and a little boy. I GUESS I'll have to give that one to Mary.

---4---

This one is an old family tale. About twenty years ago, when my family had five little children, and very little money, my mum was looking at a picture book with my four-year old sister, J. J pointed at a picture of some fruit and said, "Mama, what's that?" My mum looked, and her heart fell when she realized her children had never tasted peaches or plums, and didn't even know what they looked like. But such fruit were luxuries when we could only afford the basics.

That same morning, a fruit seller came by our house rolling his handcart, and guess what he was selling? Little baskets of peaches and plums! My mum was tempted... but they just didn't have the money. She said "Father, if You want my daughter to taste peaches and plums, YOU can provide them."

The same day, my sister went to play with a neighbour from our building. She was an only child, and their family was quite wealthy. My sister came back home, holding a little gift from them... yup, a basket of peaches and plums.

---5---

We've had plenty of financial miracles. We consider them our special privilege because both my parents are doing some form of Christian ministry, which is far from lucrative, and yet God has always given us what we needed when we needed it, and sometimes even when we didn't.

When I was 18, I began to feel called to do a teacher's certificate course. I didn't know for sure, but I was attracted to teaching. Since teaching isn't a well paid job here in India, I assumed the course couldn't be very expensive. And I suppose it wasn't, compared with other degrees and courses. But it was still a LOT of money... for my family who had no savings, no money set aside for college, and not much of an income. I freaked out, and felt like I should just forget the idea. But my dad took me aside and told me, "Don't worry about the money, you just need to pray and ask the Lord if this is definitely what He is calling you to." So I did. And a month before I had to pay the fees, a great-uncle from England randomly decided to send my family (and my cousins) a gift- twice the amount of money I needed for the course. I don't think my family was in the least surprised.

---6---

Wow, this is miracle-tale telling is more tiring than I thought. What else? Okay shortened versions. I, along with others, prayed for a woman who had a stomach ulcer. She had been for medical tests, and looked frail and tired when we met her. We asked her if she believed God could heal her, and she said 'Yes'. (We always pray that God will do whatever He wants, knowing that He could ask us to patiently bear the suffering He allows, and that He could bring greater good from that suffering, but also that His will could be that the person is healed physically, as a sign that He is present and powerful.) Anyway, before she went back to the doctor, we prayed again for her healing, and one of the men praying felt very strongly that she was healed. The medical tests came back in a few days... and there was no trace of an ulcer! Over the next few months we saw her put on weight and grow stronger and healthier. Yup, miracle.

---7---

These are all physical miracles, but there have been far more of the other type- spiritual and emotional miracles. Which of course are less sensational, because it could all be psychological. But here's one. Some one I was close to had asked me to pray for a difficult relationship with a friend. It had been bad for more than a year, and despite all her efforts, it was like a stone wall between them. It was a source of a lot of hurt, because they worked closely together, and had many common friends. It was Holy Week last year, when I felt called to do a much more intense fast that I usually take on. Not like it was that intense, just intense for weak-willed me. Basically, I lived on bread and rice for the last five days of Lent, and offered it up for this particular relationship.

It was a difficult fast because I love food, and hate being hungry, and the only reason I stuck it out was because I was doing it with other people, and it would have been pretty pathetic for the person who started the fast, and announced it to everyone to be the one who gave up first. So I lasted it out, with one meal at Maundy Thursday that we couldn't really avoid because we had been invited for a 'Seder meal'. Anyway.

Shortly after the fast, my friend called and told me that something had changed, and she didn't know how or why. A barrier that had been there had crumbled. A hard heart had been softened. Resentment had been surrendered. Miraculously.

Okay, the end. I'm sleepy.

More Quick Takes at Jen's.

P.S. Go ahead and share your miracle story in the combox... I know you have one. I'd love to hear. Read. Whatever.

9 comments:

  1. These are great! I love these stories of miracles! Thanks so much for sharing them! I needed the faith-boost.

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    1. You are very welcome... I hope more people use their blogs to share these kind of stories.

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  2. My husband and I tried to get pregnant for almost a year. His spiritual director asked him about our struggles, and he sent a St. Gerard medal with a prayer card for us to say the prayer together. Within a week of starting to wear the medal, I found out I was pregnant. Obviously, I was already pregnant when I started wearing it, but the fact that Father asked my husband if we were trying to have a baby made me feel like someone was pulling strings somewhere. We're due in December with twins!

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    1. Praise God! And thanks for sharing!

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  3. While crossing roads with too much traffic and no signals, i always pray and the moment I do the road becomes clear. I witness this miracle daily.

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    1. I used to have a similar experience with a bike I used to ride... it often wouldn't start, and I'd be getting furious and getting later and later for work... and then I started praying, and it would start the next time, with me doing exactly the same thing. It seems like a coincidence, but answered prayers often do.

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  4. Hello! I followed your link from Conversion Diary, and I've enjoyed reading some of your older posts. My one and only miraculous-type experience was when I was in Adoration in the chapel at our parish. A young woman who I had seen in there frequently and had spoken to only once before came in to pray while I was there. I saw her come in and then went back to my own prayers. All of a sudden, out of nowhere I thought "It would be wonderful if she became a nun," and I kind of got a mental image of her in a habit. About 5 minutes later she came over next to me and said she wanted to let me know that she was discerning the religious life and would be leaving soon for a postulancy at a convent in France! I was kind of shocked and told her, "I don't know if God is trying to confirm something for you or not, but I was just thinking that you ought to be a nun." And now she is! :)

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. That is a pretty cool miraculous-type experience! ;-) Thanks for commenting!

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  5. My life has been a miracle in itself. I haven't seen God leave my side before and he kpet training me for the days to come. When i was a kid i didn't know that it was God who spoke to me, who lead me, without His guidance, i wouldn't have survived till now. But i do agree that He gives us a choice to make... with Him or without Him. And i left him wen i got in to my graduation college and i choose being a hedonist over God. And He let me choose. I continued to live a life without God and at one point of time (i think in the first year itself, if not then second one for sure) i was scared, angry, without close friends, without family, with nothing but me and my brain. I survived (not lived). I went so far away that i forgot what God was and what He did for me. It was almost after 10years i realized that i was missing the One who was with me when i was a child. I began my search for Him in books, in mosques, in Buddhism, in temples etc etc, but i couldn't find him anywhere. I drew a conclusion that God was a figment of my mind and there is no one else but who can take care of himself. I believed with this belief for the 10years i spoke about, till the time i couldn't take anymore! I contemplated my life and where i was heading to, whether i should be living at all? I had no friends, i had a broken relationship. The job was hurting. My younger brother passed away. It was as though life was not worth living but something that needs to be dragged along till you die one fine day. I cried. I wept. i felt miserable. (is this called depression - i'm not sure). And one fine day, my miracle came in. God came rushing to me when i didn't expect him and had lost faith in Him. He came! ANd for the first time in years, i cried in him arms. He comforted me, held me, and i accepted Him. Like a child would run to his mother at just her sight after years of being away. I cried for 3 hours i think. It was like i was meeting Him after ages and i was telling Him, that i missed Him and i never would leave Him ever. He has been gracious to heal me and bring me what i'm today. I now realize that when i though i was without Him, He as a faithful shepherd had His eye on me. He let watch on me and ensured that i lived. He saved me! I'm His and He is mine forever. Praise be to Jesus! Hallelujah!

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