Reverend Dawn M. Conti

 

From The Pastor:

Miracles: the Presence of God

 

Dr. Farley was my New Testament professor when I was a college fresh-man. He provided a definition of the word miracle that has stuck with me over the years teaching that a miracle isn’t always a supernatural occur-rence such as the Resurrection or the multiplication of the loaves and fish-es. Rather, a miracle is often something that happens precisely at a given time with a given purpose that draws us closer to God. I experienced that kind of a miracle on April 14th.

That morning while brushing my teeth, I felt moved to pray the Lord’s Prayer. Saying the Lord’s Prayer isn’t unusual, but interrupting my routine when in a hurry to get out the door, was. Strangely I found myself peace-fully immune to the morning rush, standing by the bathroom sink praying the familiar words out loud with our dog, Gizmo, listening. When I got to the petition, “deliver us from evil,” I was inspired to repeat the phrase three times. Next, I heard myself asking God to protect our family. This was a little weird because, at the time I didn’t perceive that I (or any mem-ber of our family) was threatened. All that would change in a matter of hours. Finally, I finished getting ready, got in the car, and pulled out of the driveway at 9:30 am.

Just over three hours later, our daughter, Kate, came home from school and sent me a puzzling text message which read, “The sight of the open window and disheveled bench made me laugh! That must have been fun!” She thought that I had been locked out when return-ing from my morning walk, and entered the house through the win-dow leaving the screen on the ground and the glider on the front porch out of place. I sent two text messages in return. The first was a series of question marks. The second simply said, “Are you home?” In the moments that followed, I picked up the phone, called her and told her to get out of the house! When I got home, four police cars were parked outside. We do not know if the thief or thieves were in the house when Kate was there but when the police checked, the house was clear. 

Most importantly, Kate was safe and so were we. After the officers left, I remembered that most peculiar morning prayer. The intruder(s) had been in our master bathroom only a foot away from where I prayed. We know this because an item that had been on the bathroom shelf had been curiously removed and placed on the center of the master bed. And although much of my jewelry was taken from the master bed-room, some was left behind and nothing else was disturbed in the house. The police believe that some-thing spooked them and they left before finishing the job.

Ever since the robbery happened, I’ve been full of question. What effect did that prayer have on the bur-glar(s)? If God, in whose image we have been created, spoke the world into being, what power do the words of prayer hold? I've been asking God why I was I led to pray that prayer in that way at that time. After all, when I said it, I was unaware of any imminent danger. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit unlimited by time or space, and knowing what was ahead, who prayed through me. For the Bible tells us that “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” (Ro 8:26) Perhaps the outcome was a demonstration of God “working all things together for good.” (Gen 50:20 and Rom 8:28) Or maybe it was a teaching moment through which God provided reassurance.

For me, that prayer and the protection that surrounded us was nothing short of a miracle. I was prompted to pray at a particular time, with a given, although unknown purpose. Because of it, my belief in prayer and understanding of God’s love has deepened.

Most likely, I’ll never completely understand how Providence was at work in that situation. I’m o.k with the mystery and join with the psalmist in rejoicing and praying:

 

“How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God,

How vast is the sum of them!

I try to count them—they are—

More than the sand;

I come to the end—I am still with you.” (Psa 139:17)

Thanks be to God.

 

 

In the bond of faith,

 

Pastor Dawn