Miracle or Mind Malfunction?
Last night I was sitting on the couch working on a website for a church event. Our daughters were getting ready for bed, my wife was out of town. Sophie, our younger girl, comes down stairs and hands me my phone. My friend Jim was calling. I answered the phone; Jim and I started talking.
As we were chatting, I felt a pain in my eye. This is fairly normal, as I will explain in a moment. So I walked into the kitchen and looked for a place to pop out my contact lens. Taking my lens out would alleviate the pain. The kitchen table was empty, save for a big plastic table cloth. I took out both of my contacts and placed them on the middle of the table, then I went back into the den, sat on the couch, and finished my phone call. Once the conversation was over, I walked back into the kitchen in order to retrieve my contacts. Unfortunately, they were both gone.
My assumption was that one of our cats had knocked them off the table. So I got on my hands and knees and started to search. When I didn’t find them after a few minutes, I called the girls down to help me. We searched for a good 20 minutes or more, during which time I called Laura to pray for me. Though she was down in Alabama, she offered to come and help me find them. I refused, but she was insistent. I released the girls to go to bed and sat down to consider my options.
Here is why all that is a big deal. I have a rare eye disease called keratoconus, and I have a severe case of it. Essentially, my corneas are terribly messed up, and eventually I will need to have corneal transplants in both eyes. In the meantime, I am practically blind without my contacts. Glasses have no effect on me, and neither do conventional contact lenses. Only specially made, weighted, hard contacts allow me to see at all. The contacts are uncomfortable, expensive, and take a long time to make. Without them, I can’t drive or shop or read or do most other normal things. So, if I were to lose my contacts, I would need to find someone else to drive me around for at least a couple of weeks, go get fitted for new contacts (which is a painful process), and pay some guys a lot of money to make these new things. So you can see why losing my contacts sucks, and why I never lose them.
Sitting on the couch, I decided to go upstairs to our bedroom and see if I could find an old pair I have. This pair doesn’t work well, and is REALLY uncomfortable, but it might get me through for a while. I was upset and stressed out, because I knew that this was going to be a painful process on many levels. But, I also knew that Laura and I and the girls had been praying, so maybe I would find them later. I was thinking that the cat may have eaten them, and maybe I would find them in some kitty excrement the next day.
As I’m walking up the stairs, I say a quick and odd prayer. I ask God that I might find my contacts in their little plastic case. Obviously they won’t be there because I haven’t been upstairs since I took my contacts out. They are downstairs somewhere.
I walk through our bedroom, into our bathroom. The contact case is on the sink. I look in the case, and the contacts are there. Yes, that’s what I said. They are in the case.
So, there are three possibilities. First: someone else put them there. No other human beings other than our daughters were in the house. They assured me that they did not move my contacts. I believe them.
Second: I put the contacts there. At some point, possibly while I was talking on the phone, I took the contacts out of my eyes, walked upstairs, put them in the case, and came back downstairs. I did this in a state of blackout, or I did this and then totally forgot I had done it just a few minutes later. My prayer going back up the stairs was a memory of where the contacts actually were. So, I made my kids search the floor because, essentially, my brain malfunctioned. The problem with this is that I know as well as I know anything that I did not go up those stairs from the time I cooked dinner, hours before, until the time I walked into that bathroom and saw the contacts in their case.
Third: a miracle occurred. Almighty God, or one of his intermediaries, or some other supernatural being, took the contacts and put them in the case. He/they either took them off the counter, or he/they rescued them from the cats or some other ill fate. In any case, the prayers may or may not have had anything to do with their eventual return, though one would suspect that God was answering a prayer that he himself had given me to pray.
I am still freaked out. If it was a brain malfunction of some kind, that bothers me a great deal. I could have some kind of condition, and that scares me. On the other hand, if it was a miracle, then I am incredibly grateful, humbled, and startled. Startled because this indicates that God is real and intervenes in human affairs in a very direct way. It is one thing to believe that, and quite another to experience it so acutely. Why he would intervene in this way I do not understand, but I am thankful.
I have been treating it as a miracle and praising the Lord for it. You can make your own judgments.
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