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The other Sunday, in the course of his sermon, the preacher asked, “Has anyone here experienced a miracle?” I raised my hand. Yes, I would say so, although at that moment, I couldn’t think of a specific instance. What IS a “miracle” anyway?

Today I experienced one. Genuine, authentic, life-saving miracle.

I was driving at traffic speed on a busy interstate, slick with rain. With extremely bad judgment, I began to switch into the next lane to my left, barely and belatedly glancing into my left-hand rear view mirror. The surprising sight of another car RIGHT THERE caused me to overcorrect my steering. Immediately my car began cork-screwing in a wild skid towards the right side of the highway. The rear end fishtailed. The front of the car swerved this way and that, and then pointed straight at the barricade on the roadside. I did have a thought–I’ve had it! But in split seconds (who knows??) the car corrected itself and I found myself headed once again in the direction I was originally going. I proceeded, with adrenaline pumping, to my destination.

My first thought was Thank you, God!!! Some invisible angel of physics handled the steering under these conditions. This was clearly an occasion for a multi-car smash-up, with one of them–mine–catapulting over a roadside barrier and landing upside-down fifty feet into the ditch. It didn’t happen. I experienced a miracle. I’m sure of it.

In case I had any doubts, this confirms that my life has a purpose, and I’m not done yet. If I needed any further conviction that I don’t have a minute to waste, this was it.

Along with my other healthy habits, I’ll add “more careful driving.” Perhaps the miracle of being alive can still translate into the everyday “miracle” of being the human presence of God’s love in the world. I’ve certainly experienced it myself. Today? Only the latest reminder.


  1. A totally unbelieving friend of mine once had a similar experience. His car went out of control and he managed to get it into a parking lot where it spun around, striking other vehicles, and then came to a halt. He was stunned for a minute and then got out to inspect the damage and call the police. To his amazement, no vehicles were damaged. He looked at the position of his car and of the other cars and realized there was not space enough for it to spin around several times and not strike anything. He felt that somehow time had been put backwards for him.

    I can’t say he got religion at that moment, but as Browning says, unbelief has doubts as well as faith, and this gave him a few.

  2. So….in her blog, Barb just described her latest miracle. A piddling fish tale on a slippery road without deadly consequences. I am counting up the number of times when reasonable probabilities should have ended the noble life of Bill Dickinson….but didn’t. Let’s see….there was the time in Atlanta when I was T-boned in my “cardboard” Miata on the drivers side door and walked away. The Miata was totaled. Or…the time in New Jersey, as a newly widowed person with a six-year old and a 2-year old playing happily in the house, I was performing some important task on the roof. My foot slipped and I slid off the roof. As I went over the edge, my fingers caught the edge of the eaves. I hung there in mid air for a few seconds (saying “thank you, God”) before I crawled back up on the roof. Incidentally, try crawling back onto a roof from a gutter grip….not an easy task! There was the time at my Gwinnett county house when i drilled into a live gas line. I only burned my eyebrows off. Or the time in college when i was driving back to Ohio Wesleyan from Columbus in Geoff Hirt’s borrowed VW. Going over a bridge, I hit an icy spot. The VW did a complete 360 on the pavement avoiding the several oncoming cars, guard rails, and bridge abutments. Having had its amusement, the VW reached the other side of the bridge heading in the intended direction and proceeded on toward school with only the echos of my “WTF??!!” from the drivers seat. There was that summer at the Ford plant when my supervisor yanked me out of the path of a speeding forklift. (I always thought that he yanked more forcefully than necessary.). Or the time at the Island when I…..Holy shit! I’m remembering several other….too many other….times that I cheated probability. I don’t know if God has plans for me or if He has just taken pity on such a dumb ass….but ….
    Thank you, Lord.
    We are surrounded every day with so many miracles in God’s world! How do we distinguish the everyday miracles from the “special” miracles?
    Thank you, God…for all of them.

  3. I’m glad you’re ok. I think my worst experience was in my VW on a busy four lane street–Brookside. I had put studs in my tires because we had several ice storms in a row. On ice–studs good. On dry pavement–studs bad. My car spun around–totally around–at least three times. And I stopped with it facing in the right direction. However, there was a LOT of traffic both ways and my spin took me onto all the lanes. The stoplights must have seen me because ALL traffic was stopped. I didn’t hit any cars which should have been right where this crazy spinning car was out of control. Two of my tires were ruined but I was able to limp to a gas station where I bought two new tires and had the studs taken out. I still shudder when I think of this. Don’t know if it was a miracle but think it’s a possibility.

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