Miracle or Coincidence? Strange But True!

We use the word ‘acim podcast‘ in so many different contexts. The turnaround for devastated and defeated Japan after World War Two was termed ‘an economic miracle’ for example. But I’m not referring to every use of the word, rather to the old original meaning of the word. Maybe there really is such a thing as a miracle. I guess there are some things we cannot relate to unless we have been directly involved.

My family were not religious. We would go to weddings and funerals, but otherwise we didn’t attend church. Grandmother did, but then again she was getting older and was maybe hedging her bets for the inevitable appointment with the Grim Reaper! Mum, Dad, my sister and I went out for the day on Sundays. Dad always said it was ‘family day.’ We were all happy with that. The choice was of a day out with Mum & Dad or sitting in a huge cold building with Grandma and her friends singing mournful dirges? No, it wasn’t a difficult choice.

But life has its ways of challenging our values and beliefs sometimes. The first miracle (as I will call it) occurred was when I became seriously ill at the age of seven. I had been unwell for some months with recurring throat and ear infections when I quite suddenly became critical. My condition was so serious that there was no doubt that I would die if something wasn’t done very quickly. I was vomiting blood and getting very weak. The doctors didn’t know exactly what was wrong and didn’t know how to treat it. They tried a number of things but the treatments had no effect. Meanwhile I was slipping away. All I knew was that my Mother seemed to be crying an awful lot. My Grandmother was praying for me and even though my parents didn’t attend church I wouldn’t be surprised if they too joined in at this time of crisis. Experienced doctors had tried everything they could think of and everyone was now getting seriously worried that I was going to die very soon.

But just as things were looking very bleak, the senior GP at our practice sent her new recruit to see me. She had only just qualified and had very limited experience. However, the junior member of the team had an idea. During her training she had seen an example of a very rare blood disease with similar symptoms. She suggested calling in a specialist consultant whom she had met, an expert who knew how to treat the disease. Her suspicions were confirmed. The hospital began to treat me daily with huge doses of antibiotics and they kept me in hospital for a month. Full recovery took three years, but against all the odds I survived. It was a miracle.

Now when we think about it, what are the chances of a junior doctor coming from hundreds of miles away being able to spot a very rare disease (one that the experts had missed) just in the nick of time before it claimed the life of a child? So few doctors had come across the condition that it was almost unknown. Some might understandably want to explain it away as ‘coincidence’, but to me, and to my family, we always said it was some kind of miracle – a miracle combining knowledge, science and something of the unexplained too.

The second ‘miracle’ happened to me at the age of eighteen. I was heading home on my beloved trials motorcycle on a very snowy day. The main roads had mainly been cleared by snow ploughs but the side roads were awful. As I turned into the side road where I lived with my parents I lost grip. My trials bike with off-road tyres was better in snow than a road bike, but I was probably going too fast with typical youthful over confidence. I slid right across to the wrong side of the road and fell off directly in front of an oncoming bus. It was so close that you could see the look of horror on the driver’s face! There was a feeling of impending doom inside of me as the bus was almost upon me. To this day I don’t know how the bus avoided me, but the next thing I saw was the rear view of the bus heading down the road. I was alive and unharmed, and my bike wasn’t damaged! It was as if the bus had been lifted up and carried over me, then placed down carefully to carry on with its journey. How on earth did the guy miss me? I really don’t know, but what I do know is that I started listening to my good friend Dave, a keen church-goer who had been ‘on my case’ for years. After this, I felt Dave deserved a bit more of my attention than I had given him previously.

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