Do you believe in miracles?
Let me share a personal holiday story. No, not just a story…a testimony.
Christmas came early for me this year. It was less than two weeks before Thanksgiving. My thirtysomething daughter – Bridget – who lives in, works in and loves her some Chicago was vacationing with friends in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
She loves to travel.
Around dinner time on a Sunday evening, we got one of those telephone calls that parents dread. It was her friend Amber in a somber but composed voice. She said, in essence, she and Bridget were swimming in the ocean when fierce waves pushed them out to a point at which a strong undertow pulled my daughter into bottomless waters.
The raging force of the high tides inhibited Amber’s desperate efforts to reach Bridget. The rescue was further complicated by the desperation of Bridget to save herself, pulling Amber under on each attempt.
While trying to get Bridget above water, Amber was desperately yelling for help to tourist on the beach.
In a few minutes that seemed like hours, Bridget struggled to reach the surface three times only to fall short, deeper into the water without finding footing. Each time she inadvertently fought off efforts by Amber.
She remembered lamenting the possibility of the deep Atlantic Ocean being where it would end for her. At that point, she lost conscientiousness and her body went limp.
That turned out to be a blessing as Amber was finally able to get a grip on her sinking frame and lift her above water. Right about then, five Good Samaritans were responding to the emergency. Two of them happened to be vacationing medical professionals.
Bridget was unconscious when they dragged her on shore. While awaiting paramedics, they pumped as water and sand gushed from her listless body. Rushed to the emergency room, Bridget was immediately placed in the Intensive Care Unit.
She recalls two tubes on one side, providing needed fluids, as two tubes on the other side drained huge amounts of salt water and sand that had accumulated in her lungs and bladder. Doctors projected that they wouldn’t know her prognosis for 24 hours and that even if she pulled through, she would likely be hospitalized three to four days.
On the surface, you would think that would evoke a sense of helplessness for doting parents thousands of miles away while their only child fought for her life. But there was a realization that calmed worry – that eased panic.
The power of prayer.
Her parents recognize Jesus Christ as the living God. So while the skills of attending physicians were paramount – her parents knew that there was an even more powerful force involved; the covering of the blood that NEVER fails. While we couldn’t be at her side, Jesus was right there with her in ICU.
The next day, Bridget was fully conscious, alert and strong enough to leave the hospital and fly back to Chicago. She needed a week off work to recuperate but has fully recovered. While occasional sobering flashbacks of the harrowing experience linger, glorification of the greatness of God prevails.
No gift imaginable could mean more this Christmas.
Someone reading this may be praying for the healing of a loved one or the comfort of a family suffering a loss or just some unspoken need that in their mind and heart requires nothing short of a miracle. In this season as we celebrate Jesus Christ and throughout the year, just know that through prayer and faith NOTHING is impossible.
Believe in miracles.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
CIRCLE CITY CONNECT-ION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City.
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