Miracles can be a touchy subject. The Bible is full of stories of men surviving impossible situations, stories of miraculous healing, the deaf and blind receiving their senses back. Some people say those stories just aren't true. Some people try to explain them using modern science. The impulses to explain them away or dismiss them come from the same place. Miracles seemed to have happened so much during Biblical times, but it seems like they don't happen anymore. Why not?
Many people much smarter than I have tried to answer this question. And they have some good things to say. I don't want to try to answer that question. I just want to share a story.
Last week, we found out that there was a hurricane/tropical storm in the southern Caribbean eventually headed for Haiti. We watched it, trying to see how bad it would be so we had some idea how to prepare for it. And it looked like it would be bad. For a city in which hundreds of thousands of people are living in tents (tents that have already taken a beating from the sun, wind, and rain of the past 10 months) and many more are living with fragile rusted roofs over their heads, any storm with high winds was going to do a lot of damage. And Tomas was predicted to be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane by the time it got to Port-au-Prince. We were a little worried.
Alright, a lot worried. Thursday night the boys and I were watching the weather channel on Haitian TV, and they were predicting the rain and wind would only get stronger as it headed towards us. There was nothing much to do other than pray. And I think a lot of people were praying, both here and back in the US. I was raining most of the day on Thursday, but Friday it was supposed to hit us hard. As I got out of bed on Friday, there was a bit of rain and wind, but you could hardly call it a storm. It was a light drizzle, and maybe a 5 MPH breeze. It was actually quite pleasant. We waited for things to get worse.
But they never did. We had a steady drizzle most of the day, but we couldn't have gotten much more than an inch all day long. At one point, Cecelia's mom called. She was watching the weather in the US. The radar said we should be getting buckets of rain and 75 MPH winds. Couldn't be farther from the truth. Still light drizzle and a light breeze every once in a while.
Friday morning as I lay half awake in my bed, I had a vision of a huge God-hand coming out from the tops of the mountains that surround Port-au-Prince and curving over the city, protecting it. It turns out the storm broke up as it approached Port-au-Prince. I know weather forecasters are often wrong about these things, but they were really wrong this time. And I don't think it was because they're not good at their job. I think God covered the city with his hand of protection.
And I don't hesitate to call it a miracle.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change.
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult
"Be still and know that I am God.
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth!"
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.