Another CHRISTmas Eve has arrived, and for millions of people around the globe and it is a time to pause and reflect on many things.
Of course, the reason for the season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, whose arrival was foretold in the Old Testament in Isaiah, where the prophet predicted His birth to a virgin. At that moment Immanuel truly became “God With Us,” and this became one of the greatest miracles ever recorded.
Now, miracles have happened in many shapes and forms since that first CHRISTmas Day, but the ones that happen right around CHRISTmas seem to stick out and have a li’l more meaning in the shadow of the miraculous event that occurred over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.
At least the one that happened to me does.
Eleven years ago this very night I was sitting in an Intensive Care Unit in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, while my Mom was recovering from emergency surgery to remove pooled blood from the back of her brain. She had entered the hospital on the 23rd after having an issue seeing anything more than two feet in front of her and trouble remembering simple things like names.
The initial diagnosis was that she had a stroke caused “possibly” by a tumor that was on the back part of her brain. My fear was that this tumor was cancer, being that Mom had colon cancer surgery years before and six months of chemotherapy had not caught all the dreaded cancer cells.
On the afternoon of CHRISTmas Eve 2010, Mom was wheeled into surgery to remove the blob that was showing up and analyze what exactly it was. After close to three hours of surgery, her doctor came out to inform us it was a pool of blood that they removed with very little issue, but the concern was now going to be how much damage was done, if any, to the brain, and if her speech and memory would be affected.
Before, after, and particularly during that surgery, I would go to the chapel inside the hospital to pray for the best result possible. As everyone knows that has any modicum of faith, these are the times that will try your soul and break you down. Thankfully for Mom, she had an army of people praying for her that not only bolstered her but the family during these hours.
All of the family had left for the night to get some rest to come back in the morning and I decided to sit in the room with her while she slept and I quietly watched the T.V. in the room. I figured I would just sit in the room and when I finally was tired enough I would leave.
While I sat and watched the original ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ with Maureen O’Hara and a young Natalie Wood, I barely noticed that it was the Ted Turner colorized version. The colorization of old black and white movies was all the rage for a while and here it was rushing upon midnight and CHRISTmas Day with this colorized classic on.
My Mother had not been up for hours, which was understandable being that having a surgery in which your skull is opened up and then a vacuum essentially sucks up a leak in your noggin is pretty exhausting. Just before midnight, Mom awoke and also was sitting quietly in her bed watching this movie along with me. I was oblivious to her being awake and she startled me when she posed the question that I will never forget…
I like this movie better in black and white, don’t you?
The television in her room was 20 to 25 feet away and about seven to eight feet up in the air. Just five hours earlier she still could not see more than two feet in front of her, but now she was giving her best critique of those trying to modernize a beloved classic with Jimmy Stewart, which she could not have done earlier that day.
Quite simply, this was a CHRISTmas miracle, and those prayers had been answered.
The next day while she ate vanilla ice cream I mentioned to her that she had a number of people praying for her from a posting that had been done on Facebook and she looked at me quite nonchalantly and replied “I know” and started to list off names of people that HAD prayed for her.
Obviously, during this whole ordeal, she had not had time to check her non-existent Facebook account, and I asked her how she knew that. She told me in between scooping that ice cream into her mouth that she clearly remembered while she was out during the surgery names floating up to her, being highlighted, and then another one doing the same. She then proceeded to list off three or four names that had indeed posted they were praying.
There are no words in any language to describe the awe I felt.
Even though Mom just four short years later was diagnosed with dementia, she is still here today and is an immense blessing to her family.
She was the one that quietly taught us that Jesus was real and that we should get to know Him and work to that end. Her belief and faith in the Lord manifested itself in a glorious miracle to her that occurred on the anniversary of His birth over two thousand years ago.
CHRISTmas miracles still happen and my Mom is living proof, and I and others are living witnesses to that miracle. I will always be grateful to God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for hearing the prayers for this miracle on December 24th of 2010.
My sincere thanks to all those that prayed for her all those years ago and since and if I can ever return the favor I would be honored to post a prayer request for you or anyone of your loved ones or friends. Just let me know at [email protected] and I will get it done.
The Lord has many more miracles to deliver, so let’s get busy asking Him.
A very Merry CHRISTmas to you, and a blessed New Year.