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Chain of Miracles

It was a peaceful Friday afternoon. Vases of flowers and cards filled with loving messages covered the polished table. The painful panic was just beginning to recede as Branka shakily walked across her tasteful, well-ordered living room. The piano seemed to be beckoning, drawing her toward harmony. Her first thought as she lowered herself carefully onto the bench was to find the hymn that always covered her with its divine comfort, God Will Take Care of You. However, the well-used hymnal seemed to have a will of its own and opened, quite stubbornly, Branka thought, to another less known piece.

As her fingers began to bring forth melody, the accompanying words ignited a flame of gratitude that burned throughout her whole being.

My Father is Omnipotent,
And that you can’t deny;
A God of might and miracles
‘Tis written in the sky.

It took a miracle to put
The stars in place.
It took a miracle to
Hang the world in space.
But when he saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle
Of love and grace.

Joy suddenly replaced the fear and revulsion that had hung like an impenetrable and dooming cloud over everything for the past week. This new, miraculous joy eliminated the depressing and unwelcome crowd of “what ifs” that surged into her distressing memories of that horrible accident. What if Lisa, Giselle, or Natasha had been seriously injured or, God forbid, killed? What if our budget just won’t stretch far enough to replace our poor demolished car? What if my paralysis does not continue to subside?

Exactly one week before—almost to the hour—Branka had started out to join her husband, Pastor Joe for a weekend camp meeting in Oshawa. Three happily excited girls filled her automobile with a cargo of anticipation. Lisa, a severe diabetic who had recently lost her mother after nursing her devotedly, especially needed this weekend away. Natasha, Branka’s teenaged daughter and her best friend Giselle were enjoying the opportunity to chatter for two hours straight in the back seat.

The skies had just emptied a big basin of summer showers, and the sun was beginning to send slivers of light through pewter-rimmed clouds. Traffic was heavy. An unbroken line of metal domed wheels were streaming west toward Toronto and the lakes beyond.

Out of Control

Suddenly, one spot in the orderly movement of cars careened into chaos. Branka, alarmed, noticed immediately when the car she was passing cut into her lane—into her right passenger’s side. She swerved instantly toward the left shoulder attempting to avoid collision. The car hit the guardrail and spun out of control.

Regaining consciousness, Branka realized that she and the others had been helped out of the catapulted car. Stunned, she looked around at the frightened group of wet girls standing among the cattails in a swamp. She wasn’t reassured when she looked up to see that they were at the bottom of a steep embankment on the right side of the highway.

Branka smiled as her heart sang the last words of “It Took a Miracle.” She recalled with an inner radiance of the words of Marie, one of the bystanders, who had rushed down the muddy ravine to help. Marie had exclaimed, “I saw angels around that car!” She had watched, hypnotized with horror, the out-of-control car spin across a sudden window through two lanes of westbound traffic, somersault crazily head over heels, and then roll several times before landing upright in the swamp. Sickened, she felt sure there could be no survivors. To see that no one was seriously injured utterly astonished her.

Marie was another link in the chain of miracles God was revealing through this chain of melody—“miracles of love and grace.” Marie used her cell phone to call for help before following Branka and the girls to the nearest hospital emergency department. She brought thick, dry socks from her car for the shivering girls, and then gave them heart-warming hugs before continuing on her own trip.

Lisa, clutching her protected cooler of insulin and determining not to give up her weekend at camp meeting, found a ride to Oshawa. However, there was still the problem of getting the others back home to Kingston.

Another miracle unrolled as two private ambulance attendants strode into the crowded waiting room. “We have an empty ambulance going east to Kingston,” they announced with friendly smiles. “Does anyone need a lift?”

Branka smiled gently to herself as she remembered how the shock and the traumatic anxiety had left her shaking uncontrollably, temporarily paralyzed on her left side. How good it felt to be patted snugly under warmed blankets on the stretcher in the back of that ambulance that “just happened” to be going back, empty, to Kingston. And how kind those attendants were to cheerfully wait the extra hour-and-a-half until she was released.

Surely God had been working miracles that afternoon for there was a dear friend bending over her on that long ride back to Kingston who repeated comforting Bible promises. Branka had tried to reach this friend at the accident site, but her cell phone answered “unavailable.” Another unknown number flashed into her shocked mind which happened to be the cell number of her friend’s husband. Upon receiving the call, they rushed to the hospital to offer any help they could give.

And now it was such an encouragement to Branka to hear the ambulance attendant ask about their church affiliation. He shared his problems and then asked for the address of Branka’s church and the time of the worship service. That too—maybe that especially—was indeed another miracle of love and grace.

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About Susan Mondics Willis

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