The accidental miracle

Guest story: a divine intervention that happened to my grandmother’s family, related via my mother:

My Aunt Marian was in a hospital upstate, and the family would mail her letters telling her about how things were at home. They didn’t want her to worry, so when her father was put out of work, they didn’t want her to know.

But after a while, the situation got so bad that they didn’t have any stamps to mail her letters. If she stopped getting letters, she would know something was wrong.

They went to the Church of the Confraternity of the Precious Blood (on 53rd street and Fort Hamilton Parkway) and they asked God to help so that she wouldn’t find out about her father being out of work.

It was snowing when they came out of the church. They were the last ones out, so the snow had been tramped down by everyone else leaving. They looked down, and there was a sheet of stamps lying on the snow.

Not only that, but the sheet of stamps was totally dry, even though it was lying in the snow. Enough stamps for them to mail her twenty letters.

Back then, stamps came in sheets, and if they got wet, they all stuck to each other.

I wonder sometimes when we hear stories like this, with “I looked down and I found {stamps, a yellow carnation, whatever}” whether anyone dropped it, and what that person felt afterward. So I’ll add this story from my mom’s prayer group:

A woman there was saying that several years ago, she was in terrible financial straits. She was desperate for money to buy groceries, and there was just nothing left to cut from the budget, but they still didn’t have enough. She was praying that God would help her when she came across a fifty dollar bill on the ground.

That was enough to get her through the upcoming crisis, and at the time she was telling the story, things had worked out.

My mother remarked, she remembered that at around that time, she’d been given money by a family friend to go buy something or other. The family friend for some reason always gave her fifties (and no, I have no idea why, since usually you get twenties.) At the store, my mother reached into her pocket for the bill but it wasn’t there any longer.

At the time, she said she felt dumb, but she was able to replace the money without serious hardship. 

And she wondered to me, was the fifty dollar bill she lost the same one this other woman found? It could have been. It could be that sometimes God knows who need something and who can spare a little extra, and God matches us up. Because I know that if my mother had come across this woman in dire straits, she’d have handed over fifty bucks without a qualm.

Maybe someone who would have handed over a sheet of stamps got to do good without knowing he or she was doing it. Maybe our willingness to do good makes us “available” to God for when good needs to be done, even good we know nothing about. And that would be yet another type of Communion of Saints, one totally earth-bound but just as vital.

Come back tomorrow for another accidental miracle, one which might have saved my life.


About philangelus

Mom, freelance writer, novelist, angelphile, Catholic, know-it-all.
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5 Responses to The accidental miracle

  1. Pingback: An accidental miracle: rain « Seven angels, four kids, one family

  2. Cricket says:

    I love this concept. Often, the person needing the help won’t ask another person, or won’t ask the right person. This way, they’re matched up and it all works out. (Although, it does skip out the tax credit that effectively makes the government donate to the cause you choose.) I’ll still donate in the usual ways, those being a more reliable way of knowing my money and goods aren’t picked up by the wrong person, or destroyed by the snow-blower, but it’s nice to know there’s a larger plan involved.

  3. philangelus says:

    The neat thing about this theory is it’s not plannable. Someone might be walking home, praying that she find a way to feed her cats. God knows you’re coming home from the grocery store with ten cans of cat food in with your other groceries. God knows that you would definitely share if you knew the other person’s need, and that you also have five cans of cat food at home so your own cats won’t starve. So He matches you up. You accidentally leave the bag of canned cat food somewhere, and the person in need finds it.

    I think when we live lives of virtue and willingness to serve God and Truth, that we make ourselves available to these unknown accidental acts of charity.

  4. Pingback: The Holy Spirit and the everyday « Seven angels, four kids, one family

  5. Pingback: the change jar « Seven angels, four kids, one family

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