Science is Christian…when, in the infinitely little, it discovers as many mysteries and as much depth and power as in the infinitely great.
- Edgar Quinet
Still stuffed from Thanksgiving? I know I am. And there’s more holiday feasting to come. But if you’re looking to be filled with a different kind of sustenance—the spiritual kind—here are three Mysterious Ways stories from the news this week to whet your appetite. Consider it a kick-off to a month of celebrating miracles.
1. Reunited Brothers
Eleven years ago, Gary Ulrich of Frazier, California, had a falling out with his brother, Randy. “I said things I shouldn’t have,” Gary says. “Over the years I’ve looked for him and it’s hard to find a needle in a haystack.”
Randy, meanwhile, had fallen on hard times. He was living on the streets of Bakersfield. This year, on Thanksgiving, he went to a rescue mission for a hot meal. He got there early to help the volunteers set up.
A man began setting the table next to where Randy stood. He looked up, and the two men's eyes connected.
"Randy?" the man said.
"Gary??" Randy said. The brothers hugged, shocked, but happy, to see each other after so many years.
Gary had traveled an hour to Bakersfield to volunteer at the mission for Thanksgiving. Now both men had something to be thankful about.
Gary invited Randy home with him. Now he’s focused on helping Randy get a job and getting him back on his feet. "I don't think we're going to be fighting anymore," Gary says.
2. A Good Deed Rewarded
A year ago, Dave Talley of Tempe, Arizona, was also homeless, sleeping on a mat in a church-based shelter. He figured his prospects for getting out of his current state were slim. He was deep in debt, unemployed, struggling with sobriety and without a driver's license for DUI violations. How could a guy like him ever get a job?
Then one day, Dave saw a backpack someone had left behind at the local light-rail station. When he opened it up, he found cash. Lots of it: $3,300 dollars in all.
A gift from God, no? A chance to get out of his debt, lift himself out of poverty ...
But Dave decided that was the wrong thing to do. This money belonged to someone else. Dave tracked down the bag's owner and returned the money, every penny.
The story of his honesty made the national news. Donations poured in to help Dave out of debt, and he vowed not to blow his opportunity.
He paid his debts, stayed sober and moved into a tiny apartment across from the homeless shelter where he once slept. Now he manages a community garden and even oversees an internship program that allows the homeless to volunteer to work alongside him.
The $3,300 wasn't a gift from God. But the second chance?
3. A Miraculous Light
On an overcast day in Newport, New Hampshire, ABC News reporter Kimberly Launier was filming a story about the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq. The parents had recently adopted a puppy rescued from the war zone named Hero, who they had seen in some of the last photos their son had sent home.
“One of the biggest decisions for wanting to get Hero out of Iraq was to honor our son,” the father told Kimberly, as she filmed the couple on the deck in their backyard. “This is the last life that he saved, so that's the importance and the love that we have for this dog.”
Just then, a crack appeared in the clouds overhead and a beam of sunlight shot down from above. Kimberly and the parents of the soldier grew quiet.
This is what they saw:
“It was all I could do to hold the camera steady and not drop it in astonishment,” Kimberly says. “We all laughed together and wondered if perhaps this had been a sign from Justin.”
As we enter a part of the year known for miracles, let’s all keep our eyes open. Tell us about the Mysterious Ways that you witness, and pass along the experiences shared by others. Like a good meal, we can never get enough.