I was talking with a good friend today. He’s worried about his Mother as they’re trying to diagnose if she has cancer, and if not, what she’s suffering from. She’s less than a month away from her 70th birthday. He’s having a couple of his own health issues. He’s suffering from head aches and back spasms. He’s had another MRI to monitor an area of bleeding in his brain. He’s not getting the results — he doesn’t want to give his Mother something else to worry about. He’s going to wait for an entire month so that he can give her an awesome surprise birthday party without the topic focusing on him.
You know I think the hardest part of living with a disease is the constant anxiety that comes with the diagnosis. All the tests, the waiting, the serious nature of the conversations — talking about solutions and options — trying to find your way through new territory. It’s more than scary, and you’re so in tune with the fact that you’re human and your life is so precious. You start thinking of all those people you love and all those things you haven’t done. You’re determined to make a difference, but you feel like you’re running out of time — why had you wasted your time for so many years? It’s really quite overwhelming.
But back to my friend who is always wavering on faith issue, because he’s seen suffering and can’t believe that God would be present. I told him a story tonight about a miracle that happened last year. I think miracles happen to help us B E L I E V E. But you need to look for the signs — and you’ll start to see them everywhere! You need to not think with your reality brain and try to explain it off as something logical. Just for once, think that it’s a miracle that you are being blessed with — you’ll feel so touched by God’s presence.
So the story goes that last year Glenda passed away from her long, long battle with cancer. Glenda was Aunt Helen’s daughter who I mentioned in an earlier post. And after her passing, Glenda’s sister Arlene had brought the items from her hospital room back to Aunt Helen’s home. She had one gift from her niece, Lisa that was a plant with a mylar helium balloon. I may mess up some of the details in this story, but from what I recall, Aunt Helen and Arlene released the balloon by setting it free outside of Aunt Helen’s home and watched it fly into the sky until it could be seen no longer. It was truly a symbol that represented them letting go and releasing Glenda to Heaven. And then they went on with their day.
The next day, Glenda’s sister Nancy was about 10 miles from Aunt Helen’s home where they released the balloon the day before. She had Aunt Helen with her and they were stopped at the intersection of Rt. 51 and Rt. 168 when Glenda’s mylar balloon landed on the hood of their car as they sat at the stop sign. And they gasp and watched it drift up and over their car and off into the distance once again. They were certain it was Glenda’s balloon. They looked at each other and knew that Glenda was the only one who could have made that happen. And they called it a miracle. Glenda was saying goodbye and that she was happy and joyous. And with that miracle, Nancy and Aunt Helen were also just as happy and joyous. And it gave them hope for what eternity holds for us. And it spreads that hope through all of us who believe.
Okay so let’s look at it logically. Sure, we could probably say that the balloon had to have gotten stuck in tree overnight, even after it went way into the sky. Okay, so it came back down, probably because of some scientific reason that helium becomes less at greater heights or something. And it got caught in a tree about 10 minutes from Aunt Helen’s house and remained there overnight and into the next day. And just at the very moment that Nancy and Aunt Helen were sitting at the intersection, the balloon was miraculously freed from the tree and floating down on the hood of the car — and then woosh, back up into the sky. Coincidence? What are the chances?
Look for signs in your life that will help you make sense of the hard moments in your life. You’ll be surprised at the signs all around you. And maybe even among those signs, you’ll be blessed with a miracle that you can’t wave it off as a coincidence.