Sunday, November 2, 2008
Signs and Miracles
I think sunsets are miracles. And sunrises too. Even when it is cloudy in Seattle, the very fact that it gets lighter tells me the sun is out there somewhere and that seems miraculous to me. This particular pic was taken in Alaska, but sunsets are not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about miracles and signs. Of course it's possible to read something into anything, but other times it is so clear. Here are two examples.
My 23 year old friend Charlie died a couple weeks ago. I had met him fifteen months ago when he came in for treatment of his recurrent Ewing's sarcoma. He had a face like an angel and was one of the sweetest most engaging young men I've ever met. He always asked, "How are you doing?"
He received lots of chemo and finally had a stem cell transplant. He was in a coma in the ICU when his father called me and said, "Deb, Charlie is dying. His heart is giving out. If you want to come say good-bye to him, that's okay. But don't come because of me. I'm fine. All this time it's pretty much been just me and Charlie and it's seems only right that it is just the two of us at the end."
I had already said good-bye and I love you to Charlie and I knew his dad wanted to be alone with him. So I went down to our little creek where there is a water fall. And I stood there with my hands out and prayed for Charlie. I said, "Charlie, I'm sending you the sound of this rippling, rushing water and I hope you can follow that sound and find your way out. Follow this clean, refreshing, renewing water and you will be okay." I stood there praying like that for about fifteen minutes.
I went back into house and the phone rang. It was Charlie's dad. "You're the second person I'm calling," he said. "Charlie died about fifteen minutes ago."
Through my tears I told him about praying for Charlie and he said, "Well, I believe it. He probably heard you."
You could say it was a coincidence, but it was a miracle to me. But there's more.
A couple days later I called to check in and see how Charlie's dad was doing. "I have amazing story to tell you," he said.
He explained how when Charlie got a recurrence fifteen months ago, his dog, a Husky ran away. "We looked all over for that dog," he said. "We drove around and posted signs and checked the animal shelters--no sign of him.
"So my wife and I came home after making all the funeral arrangements for Charlie. And who is sitting at the front gate? His Husky dog! Fifteen months later! And I knew that it was Charlie saying, 'Dad, I'm really okay. Don't worry about me.'" It was the ultimate comfort to him.
I just don't think you can say that was a coincidence. Well, I suppose you could but then I would worry about the kind of person you are.
Me--I live in a state of perpetual wonder.