Today’s guest blogger is assistant editor Daniel Kessel.
Last week, I received an interesting email from Helen Doell Kline, a contributor to the upcoming October/November issue of Mysterious Ways. She wrote about a problem she calls "news overload.” With the sheer number of depressing stories in the media, how can we keep a positive attitude in our day-to-day lives?
These stories show God’s hand at work in our lives, even when things seem bleak on the surface. Take a break from your own “news overload” and check out my top picks from recent headlines:
A Special Flag's Homecoming
Patsy Maciel of Houston received an unexpected Facebook message. Lanie and Walter Brown, a couple she had never met, said they'd found something that belonged to her son in Hemphill, Texas, over 170 miles away.
Patsy’s son, Fred, a Marine, had died in Iraq nearly a decade ago. She thought she’d collected all of his personal effects from the army. According to this message, there was one last thing.
It was a flag, the Browns explained, discovered on a table at a flea market. Dozens of handwritten messages of gratitude covered it, all addressed to Fred Maciel. The Browns launched a search for the Maciel family and found Patsy online.
No one could explain how the tribute to her son’s bravery had ended up in Hemphill. But after so many years, the Browns were the perfect family to find it: Walter and his son are both Marines. He knew exactly how much this flag’s homecoming would mean to the fallen Marine’s mom.
The Accident That Healed Her
For years, 76-year-old Beatrice Madill from Umatilla, Oregon, suffered from severe back pain. She stooped when she walked and needed a cane to get around. Despite numerous surgeries, doctors were unable to straighten her spine. At Beatrice’s church, prayer volunteers held a special session asking God to help her walk upright again.
Three weeks later, Beatrice got into a serious car accident. She survived, but among other injuries, her back was broken. What kind of answer to prayer was this?
Doctors ordered surgery right away. But this time, as Beatrice healed, something was different. Little by little, she could walk upright again! Beatrice, who is up and running with a new lease on life, describes her turnaround as a miracle.
On July 19, driving down I-27 near Canyon, Texas, Jered Meeks came across a car wreck. Two cars had collided on the interstate. No ambulance or fire trucks had arrived. A certified EMT, Jered sprang into action.
He heard a woman moaning. He broke her car’s window and used the pocket knife he always carries to cut away her seatbelt. Jered, with help from other bystanders, pulled her to safety and took care of her until the ambulance arrived. Jered’s efforts may have saved the woman’s life.
For Jered, being in the right place at the right time was no accident. He believed his late grandfather had put him there. His grandfather had passed away from a car crash on I-27, in the exact same place, on the same day, 30 years earlier.
After 5 years apart, these very different friends learned how similar their spiritual lives had become.
Assistant editor Dan Hoffman learns to be inspired by his ancestors’ struggles.