March 27 Miracles From Heaven

“Miracles happen quietly every day – in an operating room, on a stormy sea, in the sudden appearance of a roadside stranger. They are rarely tallied. No one keeps score.”

I saw a movie today with my mom called “Miracles from Heaven.” It was based on a true story about a little girl in Texas with a life-threatening illness. NO SPOILERS. It was a good movie. Everyone in that movie theater was crying, including me!

I have a story that I think qualifies as a miracle. In the mid ’90’s I went camping with a large group of people. We caravanned from Oakland/Alameda to Lake Tahoe at night to get to our campsite. Why at night? Because we were young and stupid and no one thought about the difficulty of pitching tents in the middle of the night, we all just wanted to get there.

There were 8 or 9 cars driving in succession up to Lake Tahoe. When we got into the mountains, one guy in our group decided that he didn’t like being in the back of the line, so he started passing the other cars to get to the front of the line. We all knew that he was showing off for his girlfriend (the passenger in his car). I had a beat up Chevy so, naturally, I was in the back of the line with two friends in the car with me. As I made my way around a bend in the road, headlights off of the side of the cliff, facing straight up into the sky caught our attention. The Showoff Guy  went over the cliff. His car was facing up, wedged by a tree, which is why I saw his lights in the sky. If that tree had not been there, he would have slid all the way down the side of the mountain. It could have been miles before any of us noticed that his car was missing in the line-up.

This was before cell phones were as common place as they are now. None of us had a cell phone. And if we had, it probably would not have had service in the mountains. I was able to honk my horn and create a chain reaction up the line, until everyone knew that something was wrong. I told them that one car was over the cliff and that I was going to get help. I remembered passing something that looked like a motel a (few?) miles back. My passengers hopped out to help and I drove (alone) to find that place.

I was absolutely terrified: for me, for them. Just terrified. I found the motel but there was no inn-keeper. I walked around to the side of the building and called 911 from the pay phone. I realized that I had NO IDEA of my location. I did my best describing my location and told them the situation: one car, three people, over a cliff. They assured me that help was on the way.

When I got back to the scene of the crash, all three occupants of the car were sitting on the side of the road, looking a little dazed but definitely not dead, not broken. I was amazed that they got out of the car and climbed up the steep mountain to get back up to the road. How on earth did they manage that? I was told that a Motorcycle Guy was riding alone (in the middle of the night in the mountains?) and he stopped to assist. He had rope and clamps and pulleys and all kinds of stuff to save three people in a car, plunged over  the side of a cliff. Hmm….. what a great stroke of luck? I was told that the Motorcycle Guy single-handedly saved all three of them, going back and forth up and down the cliff, then got back on his bike and rode off! WHAT????

I believe that Motorcycle Guy was an angel and that those three in the car experienced a miracle that night. I didn’t see him, I only heard the story secondhand. We went camping and enjoyed the rest of the weekend although the Showoff Guy had to get his car towed and make a police report. Everyone there that night agreed that the Motorcycle Guy was an angel sent to save those three.

Maybe we are all angels just waiting for the right opportunity to perform miracles. The movie had a great quote from Albert Einstein:”There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” I’ve heard the argument that this is a “fake” quote and that Einstein didn’t actually say it. So what? Somebody said it. Think about it.

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