I believe God embedded the miraculous in the ordinary, and it is our task to discover it and celebrate it.
- Kent Nerburn
Her big miracle came 15 years ago, as she passed away the hours in the hospital, waiting for her son, David, to get out of surgery. Doctors were skeptical the surgery would work and Joan wondered if God was even listening to her cries for help.
But then, at the most difficult point of the operation, God got her attention in a very clever way…
The other parents in the hospital waiting room were glued to an episode of The Jerry Springer Show blasting from the TV. But I had no interest. All I could think about was my 14-year-old son, David, who was in the middle of open-heart surgery. In fact, a nurse had informed me that, at that very moment, he was undergoing the riskiest part of the procedure.
“Luise!” a voice suddenly boomed.
I looked to my left, then my right. Who was calling me? Most people didn’t even know my maiden name, Luise. Maybe it was the nurse again. She said she’d let me know when David was out of surgery, but he still had almost two hours left to go. Was he okay? I thought nervously.
It was a tricky surgery. Even if it did work, David would be restricted to a sedentary lifestyle. A death sentence for my sporty son. There was another procedure–one that had never been performed on a live person before–but David’s doctor was skeptical that it could be done.
“Luise!” I heard the voice again and glanced around the room, bewildered. Then I realized it was coming from the TV. I looked up. The channel had switched. Instead of Jerry Springer, there was a black-and-white movie on the screen. I recognized the actors instantly. My favorite childhood movie–The Song of Bernadette.
“What happened to Jerry Springer?” one of the parents nearby asked.
“Who changed it?” another said. But no one had an answer. The remote was nowhere to be found.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. In all the times I’d watched it, I never realized that Bernadette’s mother and I shared the name “Luise.” I explained the movie plot to the other parents in the waiting room. How Bernadette, a poor sickly child had met the Virgin Mary in a grotto near her home. After great difficulty, she followed her orders to uncover a healing spring in Lourdes.
By the time the movie ended, I was the only person left in the waiting room. As the credits rolled on the screen–and the tears down my cheeks–the cardiac surgeon entered the waiting room.
“We did it,” he said, breaking into a grin. They’d managed to pull off the procedure, the one he’d deemed impossible just a week before. David would go on with his life as an athletic 14-year-old.
My favorite childhood move about miraculous healings showing up in the waiting room at the exact time the doctor performed a miraculous fix? It was surely a sign that God does speak to us if only we listen.
Oh and my son, David? He was captain of his swim team in college, and today, he’s in medical school. A true miracle, indeed!
Has God ever called your name in an unusual way? Share your story below!
Diana Aydin is an associate editor for Mysterious Ways magazine. When she was just a little kid, she got her first dose of the miraculous. She’s been on the lookout for miracles ever since. Her favorite time of the day is lunch time, when she gets to step away from the workaday world and enjoy a bit of God’s wonder, if only for an hour!