I've experienced so many of these over five decades that they have become commonplace. Two incidences stand out as monumental, however, because they were seemingly so out-of-my-control, yet they fell back into place without any effort on my part.
They also happened months apart, which confirmed to me at the time, that I was being cared for beyond my wildest understanding...
I was nearing the end of my marriage decades ago when my van was broken into in the dark parking lot of a meeting I was attending. The sliding door window had been smashed, but as far as I could tell, nothing else had been disturbed.
On my way to the police station, I phoned Jack (my then-husband) to inform him.
"Someone just called about your briefcase," Jack replied.
"My briefcase?" I stammered. "I didn't know it was missing!"
Apparently, the vandals had thrown my black bag onto a dark side street near the location of my meeting, and minutes later a passerby spotted it.
How weird is that?
My hospital work badge was attached to the briefcase handles, and the passerby was a hospital employee on his way to work. He called my home as soon as he arrived at the hospital--just minutes before I called Jack.
I know...serendipitous, right?
I realized later that my gym bag had also been nabbed but I figured it was a small loss; I also knew that I had no identification in that bag.
The following morning, though, I received another phone call that surprised me. "I have your gym bag," a tender voice told me.
"But how? There's no identification in that bag!"
"Well, there is," the woman continued. "That's how I got your number."
The only scenario that made any sense was that while the vandals rummaged through both bags, things were shuffled from one bag to the other, with one ID ending up in one bag, and another ID finding its way into the other bag!
How does that happen?
Eight months later, a similar event happened which confirmed that a bigger hand was operating in my life.
I chose to see it as God, and I still do, but it doesn't matter what you may call it; we all have moments of miracles that are difficult to explain.
But do you recognize them?
I left the house before noon and drove to my office a few miles away. I planned on being gone for the entire afternoon, but when I completed my paperwork in record-breaking time, I realized I had time to return home before picking up the kids from school.
Fifty minutes had elapsed when I pulled back into the garage and entered my home. All of the cabinets were wide open, and I realized with a panic that my home had been robbed. I backed out the door, fearing the vandals were still inside.
I grabbed my cell phone from the car as an elderly gentleman walked by. I asked him to stay with me and he happily obliged. As I paced on my front lawn dialing 911, a truck slowly drove by with four teen-age boys inside.
I gave the Dispatch information about the burglary, and within minutes, an officer drove up and told me that she was going to pursue a truck that had been seen loitering in the neighborhood.
"One just drove by," I offered.
The officer sped away, but returned about ten minutes later. She held out her hand and as I moved closer, she asked, "Do you recognize this?"
"Yes," I winced. "It's my husband's watch." (By this time, he was my ex-husband).
"We got 'em!" she happily reported. "I only found this in the bed of their truck, but it's enough evidence."
I was stunned (again).
My home had been ransacked: every cabinet had been gone through and every drawer had been overturned. Papers, toys, and garbage were strewn everywhere. The VCR and camcorder were missing and the television was shifted in its place. My jewelry box had been nabbed, and the vandals even drank a soda from the refrigerator and opened the kids’ Christmas presents!
As the officer gently probed for answers about missing items, I retrieved registration forms from a file that had hammer marks where the lock had once been. My back door had been kicked in, and I couldn’t believe how much had been taken in less than one hour. Since they'd been caught, I was hopeful that I’d see some of my belongings again but I wasn’t counting on it. The officer had already told me that everything could have already been sold.
Less than twenty-four hours later, however, a lieutenant called and said, “We have all of your missing items. You can pick them up at any time.”
After the teens were apprehended, they confessed to storing my items at their homes, a block away from mine. Four backpacks had been stuffed and others were secluded elsewhere, ready to be sold. When they drove by my house that afternoon, they were planning to “finish the job,” but my presence in the front yard thwarted them.
I excitedly piled the kids into the car and drove to the station. All my belongings were neatly arranged on tables with identification tags on each item. It was like discovering new toys at Christmas!
The officer standing behind me said, “This happens in less than twenty percent of all robberies. You’re lucky.”
“Really? This is the second time it’s happened to me this year, and I got everything back both times.”
“You must have some strong karma, lady,” he said. “We never hear of that happening twice!”
I did have strong karma—God—and I was being shown, once again, how I was tenderly and lovingly being looked after. More than $6500.00 in merchandise had been taken, and it was all returned in less than one day.
Today I expect daily miracles, and God faithfully delivers.
Be on the look-out for your own moments of miracles. Because they are everywhere! They show up when you least expect them, and they're often disguised as something completely different.
So how do we recognize them, you ask?
Because in their wake, you will be left feeling stunned, in awe, mystified, or confused. You won't be able to figure out how the hell it all happened so effortlessly.
But most of all, it will feel and look like magic.