Sometimes the hand of God in our daily lives is the best explanation.
written by: John Shuff
Do you believe in miracles?” were the words TV sports broadcaster Al Michaels was screaming as he described the last eight seconds of the 1980 Winter Olympic gold medal hockey game between the USA and Russia. The U.S. team, made up of amateurs facing a Russian team of professionals skated to a 4-3 victory in what many sports aficionados consider the biggest upset in sports history. Anyone who watched that telecast will never forget that “miracle on ice.”
I happen to believe in miracles—but not that kind. The hockey game was an event. I believe in the kind of miracles that are a sign of a power higher than man: the kind that Merriam-Webster defines as “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.” To me, that means God. If you are a believer, God’s miracles are a sign of his presence, his caring and his desire to have you learn from the miraculous event that you experienced.
The first miracle that Margaret Mary and I experienced was in summer of 1978. I picked up the phone in my office in New York City and on the other end was my wife, sobbing and hysterical, barely able to get a sentence out. She managed to tell me she was in the Greenwich Hospital and that our four-year-old daughter Molly had been struck by a hit-and-run driver, that she was alive and being evaluated by the doctors.
Sprinting out of our 54th & Madison office, I grabbed a cab and told the driver to take me to the hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was the longest hour of my life. I don’t think I said a word to the him (very uncharacteristic of me). I just kept asking God to watch over Molly and her mom. When I got to the hospital, I burst into the room to see Marg still in tears, hardly able to talk and Molly, with a broken left collarbone, her tiny head and face swollen, as if she had been beaten to a pulp. In that dimly lit room were the two of the three people that I cared most about, both in terrible pain, one physical and one emotional.
However, there was good news. Molly’s eyes were clear; there was no sign of neurologic damage. And, when Marg told me what had happened, I knew God had intervened to save her from death and serious injury. In a broken voice, she said she had been distracted and that Molly ran into the street to join her brother David across the street. She was hit by a speeding car, tossed 50 feet and run over again.
Margaret Mary stayed with her day and night in the hospital for three days until both returned home.
When our former marketing director at Salt Lake magazine, Brittany Hansen, gave birth to her daughter Sora—after years of trying to conceive—there were tears and cheers throughout our office. The story behind this birth is one of faith and determination. Upon her pregnancy announcement, doctors had warned the Hansens of complications, that she would require complete bed rest until the baby was born. Despite following the doctor’s orders, Brittany gave birth to Sora three and a half months before her due date—weighing only 23 ounces.
Little Sora entered the NICU unit at the University of Utah to begin her fight for life. Brittany visited her every day, bringing pictures of Sora back to the office, a tiny 23-ounce baby, all wired up to monitor her vital signs. To me, those photographs were images of a miracle; three-and-a- half months later, upon her due date, Sora finally left the NICU and came home. I know the NICU gave her the best in science, I know her mother gave her unwavering love and care—but I also know that part of this was simply divine intervention, of God reaching down and saving a life.
Miracles are signs of God’s mercy and love. This holiday season, begin to emulate his goodness by helping those in need. Many are hurting these days and need signs of love and hope. Perform your own miracles by giving of yourself—not just this season, but every day, all year round.
See more inside our 2017 November/December Issue.