The Hand of God

April 19th, 2014

hope
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 NIV

This afternoon went to see “Heaven is for Real”, a movie based upon a true story of a four year old boy’s recollection of what he saw up above in the heavenly realm. It was a thought provoking film that certainly touched the viewers hearts, perhaps answering some questions we all have. The best line in the movie was “some people are afraid that Heaven doesn’t exist and some people are afraid that it does”. It was indeed an inspirational film that brought both tears and joy. Then….

We made a couple of store stops along the way on Route 9 in Fishkill,just a bit after 5:00 p.m. suddenly I felt faint, and shaken on the inside. Making our way to our next destination I was eerily and inexplicably quiet. We passed the Domino’s Pizzeria on Route 9 where several days earlier a 19 year old boy perished in a fire. There were teenagers gathered outside the location, that had posters, flowers, candles, and cards on the fence in front of the charred building. Sadness tugged at my heartstrings and prayers silently invoked within me. Then…

Just a bit longer down the road on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, we saw the Hand of God invisibly save the life of a young man named Mike. It was approximately 5:20 p.m., we were in the 2nd lane, and 5 cars ahead of us in the 3rd lane was the vehicle that Mike drove. Out of nowhere we saw a street sign fly up like an arrow landing directly into Mike’s windshield. It was both quick yet seemed to be movie-like in slow motion effect. All the other cars were coming to a halt. People were getting out of their cars and running to the blue car, expecting to see what no body wanted to see. By the time I got to them, the young man in purple, was no longer inside the car. He was standing unharmed as people were praising the Lord for saving him. Looking inside the car I saw the shattered windshield with the metal sign post at an angle over the steering wheel. It literally missed Mike’s head by perhaps 8 to 10 inches and landed over the middle part of the car seats.

The young man was somewhat in shock. People were all concerned and amazed, saying things like: “there was an angel looking out for you” someone up there was with you today” “You have to go to church tomorrow”, all of us were asking if he was okay or hurt. After I looked inside the car, I realized immediately it was the Hand of God that was between that road sign and Mike’s life at the precise moment the accident occurred. I asked him his name and told him mine, why I told him I was a deacon I don’t know, and I took his hand. These words came out without a thought: “Well Brother Mike, you definitely had an angel looking over you today. I don’t know what it is you needed to know, but on this day, the day before Easter; God is trying to tell you something, and it was the Hand of God that stopped that sign from hitting you. He saved you for a reason”. Mike’s big brown eyes, connected with mine and he replied, “Yes, I know.”

The sirens were getting closer now, so everyone was getting back into their vehicles. We were all talking through our windows, about what happened, what we saw, and how God was there. Many of us were in disbelief of the miracle we witnessed. There was a good Samaritan woman directing the traffic while the other drivers were making a path for the emergency vehicles. As we passed the accident, on the left we saw either 3 or 4 other vehicles that looked empty, with many people standing around. Bumpers, glass, and shaken individuals waited for the emergency teams. Apparently whatever happened with those vehicles must have included the hitting of the road sign that flew into the air directly into Mike’s windshield.

There really are no words to describe the feelings that unite strangers or how. Only that in those moments, the thought of another being hurt or worse made us all want to help in some way. There was a movie that conveyed a message that Heaven is Real. There is earth where sometimes, Heaven meets it and shows us just how much. Believing that is our hope. Our hope in everyday inspired by life, questioning the unknown, looking to the invisible made visible. The hand of God spoke to many of us…without words today. May all who were there remember and rejoice tonight into tomorrow, celebrating Resurrection Sunday with new found sight into the meaning of Easter.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

In a Child’s Smile

March 20th, 2014

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.~Proverbs 22:6

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Matthew 19:14

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.~ Romans 8:16

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If a cloud is without feeling, and there is some sort of cloud that surrounds you perhaps,  weighing you down, think about the smile of a child.

For me, who has been quite saddened as of my parents recent passing being thrust into a whirlwind of a ‘little bit of rain with a side of cloudiness’, often I wonder what a simple smile from a child can do to brighten up the day.

Just a few days ago while at a doctor appointment, I received the answer in the form of a 3 year old little girl who happened to be at the same office. As the woman she was with was checking in for her appointment the child interacted with me in an amazing sort of way. My day was changed from the first moment our eyes connected and from the things that came out of her smiling face.

“God is strong” she proclaimed as her eyes locked with mine. “He certainly is” I replied with my own smile that now replaced the frown that was there beforehand. “Jesus loves me even when I’m bad” she said.

“Why of course he does, he always loves you no matter what!” was my outward response while in my mind’s eye there was a sensibility that the Lord was using this child to speak to my very own heart.

Her and I now began discussing the leap frog mini computer toy, which she claimed to need some new application for, and that I knew very little about. Automatically her conversation went back to Jesus, and she began to sing “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so”.As I was now in awe of this tiny little person, the rest of the words to the song eluded me. Yet, we were both smiling now as I feebly mumbled the words.

I asked her her name and how old she was, as the woman holding her tiny hand was also smiling. “It’s Savannah, and I’m three.”

I’m Michele and I can’t believe you are only three”.  She was still smiling, and her eyes lit up as we all sat down to wait.  The lady and I talked about how nice it was that Savannah so pure in heart had no qualms about speaking of the Lord. “Yes, and Savannah is always talking about him.”

It was their turn to see the doctor, so we said goodbye. The appointment lasted well over an hour and I’d not given any thought to ever seeing this child again, telling  myself to not forget her or the moment we just shared.

Waiting for the bus and wondering about what the Lord was trying to tell me, I turned around and there they were! Little smiling Savannah with her guardian (I don’t recall getting her name) who in her own way, was angel like in appearance and glowing.

After expressing to the lady that I used to be in children’s ministry and how happy it made me to meet such an amazing child like Savannah, what the woman revealed was a testimony that further brought me sheer joy.

“Yes, she does talk a lot about God and Jesus” she said. “when Savannah was born she had had a stroke, and her mother left her when she was just 6 months old.”

I looked at Savannah whose eyes were wide opened and happy saying, “Well then miss Savannah, you are a walking miracle!”  Her smile grew even larger and she said, ” Yep, I am”.

Three total strangers. One little girl. Smiles sent from above at the perfect time, in an unexpected place, in an unforgettable manner.

God has blessed us all, as we are His children only sometimes we forget that truth. When your smile fades on your face, be reminded who is in your heart. Recalling the words to the song sang by little Savannah, only one of God’s very own children whose tiny body and huge smile made my day new.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, “Let them come to Me.”

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Lyrics by: Anna B. Warner & David R. McGuire 1860