Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Believe in Miracles.

I have always been a "SHOW ME" kind of guy. If you ask me "What color is this RED Cube?" I would most likely respond "The parts I can see are red. So turn it over if you want my complete opinion." I know the gambit. Have you ever seen a million dollars? Yes. Have you ever seen the wind? Again, "Yes, when it is filled with dust or water spinning wildly in the sky." Don't toy with me...
What is the worst tragedy you can imagine? For me it would be to survive the loss of one of my children. And while I have not personally suffered this. I have seen others that have. I watched my mother bury both of my younger brothers, the youngest one, Eric, at age 2. the older, Sean, when he was 27. I was 7 when Eric passed, and 33 when Sean went home. On March 5, 2001 Santana High school in Santee Ca. Where I lived, became world famous when a kid trying to impress his peers with how tough he was, opened fire, with a stolen handgun and killed two very great young men. The two students that were killed were 14-year-old Bryan Zuckor and 17-year-old Randy Gordon. Brian attended Church youth group with my children, and Randy was the older brother of my daughter's best friend. Brian was a home schooled youth whose Grandparents are both medical doctors, church elders and grieving grandparents. Brian had plead with his mother to allow him to attend public school with his friends. She acquiesced and blames herself to this day.
Randy was a brilliant gentle soul who had already signed-up to join the Navy and was planning his career. Our previous experiences are given so that we may help others get through what we have already survived. But, "tough it out," or, "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." are both hollow platitudes that offer no hope or assistance. Usually the best thing you can do for a grief-stricken friend is just listen. A hug helps also. But remember after the shock wears off and other's attention has GONE ELSEWHERE. Your friend may still need to talk to someone. Even more than before. When they ask "Why would God let this happen?" What will you say? Who will you blame? What passage from your bible will explain this? PSALMS? PROVERBS? REVELATION? Matthew, Mark, Luke or John? PETER? JAMES? None of these great books answers or addresses this question directly. But the bible is not silent on this issue.
Isaiah 57
1 The righteous perish,
and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.
Previously I had encountered a similar situation when my sister had her baby. The little girl had a tough time from the very start. She was born prematurely, undersized and under weight. A tiny little thing who conveniently fit into her grandmother's palm. But, she was a fighter! She, Allison, grew quickly and things looked normal for awhile. But things were dramatically wrong. This beautiful little girl had no immune system, and her body did not make red-blood cells. Doctors scrambled to discover the underlying cause. And little Al visited every pediatric specialist in America. She required a blood transfusion almost monthly. But only adults may donate blood. Adult blood has far too much iron for a child's system to cope with. So the one thing keeping her alive, was sure to be the death of her, eventually. Chelation therapy to remove the iron would help some (Chelation therapy is the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body). But it would not be enough in the long run. I was not a Christian at this point in my life, and I was mad about God doing this to my family, and my sister, and my mom. I wanted to spit in His eye. I had read parts of the bible before but mostly in the same way as WC Fields. Looking for loop-holes. Or ways to rebuke fools with their own weapon. I was not an atheist. Not even an agnostic. But I was sure that God had spun us off into the universe and sat laughing at us as we fumbled through life.
Well Allison lived much longer, years in fact, than all the medical prognosticators had predicted. Her life was hard. But she had a life. And touched many lives as she went through hers. Then one night I got a phone call from my mom. She called me weekly, as I was never back to NC. very often. She would keep me updated on family issues. This time was different. She had been crying. I could hear it on her voice. I asked what was wrong. She took a breath to compose herself and began to tell me about Allison's visit to neurology that day. Apparently this little darling now had a brain abscess. All I remember after that word, was surgery. Fully expecting to be asked to come home on leave. I asked "What can I do?" My mother said one word. "PRAY." I protested that I didn't even remember how to pray. It had been 25 years since I prayed as a grade schooler. It wouldn't do any good. I was going to waste my time and my breath. I had no tongue for it. She insisted "If you ask, He will hear."
So I agreed and we hung up the phones.
Now I was in deep dip. Did I just lie to my mother? In her time of despair? I pondered the ramifications for several hours, and finally decided to honor my promise. But this wasn'rt gonna be any old prayer. This was gonna be a Show Me God, prayer. Don't give me the don't test the Lord speech now. Where were you back then? When I needed a lesson?
So I broke out the bible. Tossed it unopened on the table, and began the most blasphemous tirade God had ever heard. I accused him of every wrong I had ever experienced or heard about. World wars. Earth quakes. Murder. Rape. Drug addiction. You name it I blamed Him for it. I was not cussing. But there was no doubt we were on opposite sides of the fence. When my anger was satiated, I threw in a reprieve. I said "God, if you take this abscess away from Allison. I will read your book and spend my life telling the world how great you are." Then I hung up and stomped off to bed. All went well. I didn't burst into flames. And no brimstones landed in the yard.
Two weeks later my mom called again. And boy when this call ended I was gonna tell God what train to get on and what station to get off at...
Mom asked "Did you pray?"
I said "Yes." Boy God was gonna get both barrels.
She said "Well, it worked. Allison had a CAT scan to determine the surgical procedure and the abscess was gone. Not even a scar remained.
You could have pushed my over with a wet noodle. God had honored my request. There was only one thing left to do. So I boke out the bible, and haven't looked back since.
Next time: The Good Shepherd.


SusanD said...

I love how God proves Himself in ways personal to each of us. Blessings, SusanD

Edie said...

I love this. I love that God is big enough to take whatever we dish out. He knows who is serious about keeping their word of those that make such statements/requests as yours.

"A heart that seeks God, finds Him". Your heart was seeking and willing to embrace Truth. If your statement/request had been manipulative, and not sincere, God would not have honored it.

Edie said...


Kelly Combs said...

That was so beautiful! I love it that you kept your word...both to your mom, and then to God. That shows you are a man of honor.

Heart2Heart said...


Sometimes God knows that the way to get you to come back to Him was to provide a sure fire way that you would believe without a doubt. I am thanking God for that very prayer and for the life you have led since that day.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat