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What do you do with those life-impacting-experiences for which we have no categories? I’m thinking of those events and occasions which appear to have no natural explanation.

I acknowledge that I am somewhat “agnostic” about the accuracy & validity of some of these claims. This rise of agnosticism comes because of the extravagance of some of these claims.

I recall a cartoon  some years back  which depicted the TV Evangelist saying to the guy who was writing his memoirs, “No, change ‘headache’ to ‘brain tumour’ because this gives greater glory to God!” Even if the motivation was pure (which I seriously doubt) the action was wrong.

But there have been times in my own life when things have happened to me or through me for which I have no natural explanation.

Those of our readers who have stayed in touch with Bev and I through “Our Journey through the Valley” might recall what happened on the day that we buried Bev’s ashes on the property outside Bathurst.

The background to this event is a verse from Isaiah which became like a promise to us as Bev’s deterioration increased.

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.(Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

Following our little family ceremony we were about the get in our cars to begin the journey home when our daughter pointed to the sky and cried out, “Look!”

Above us in the cloudless sky there soared two wedge-tailed eagles, as though they were on patrol. This was, for me, one of those life-impacting experiences. I could respond to it in a number of ways.

a)    It was probably lunch time for the local eagle population and we just happened to be there – coincidentally. That would be a natural explanation.

b)    The timing of the appearance of those two eagles was undeniably ‘significant’.

c)     I could chose believe that the Creator was using two of His magnificent creatures as a confirmation of His promise to us.

As it happened, I chose to believe all three of the above options. Why not?

There is a sequel to that event and it confronted me with a very similar choice. As it happened, the plaque that we originally placed on Bev’s memorial was only temporary until we had a permanent one made and we repeated the pilgrimage back to Bathurst so we could finalize the memorial.

 

We had not been there 15 minutes when Ian (the owner of the property) called me to go outside. He didn’t say anything. He just pointed skyward. There they were again, Two wedge-tailed eagles riding the thermals. “I think there’s a nest up near Wiseman’s Creek”, said Ian. More coincidence?

Here’s another one.

I had prepared a brief service – a recorded song or two and the reading of two “Letters to Bev”.

I had just begun reading the first of the letters. It was quite hot out in the open. The air was still. The only noise was the sounds of the bush. The buzzing of insects.

Suddenly, without warning, a gust of wind enveloped our little group. The book I was holding was almost blown out of my hand. This ‘invasion’ lasted maybe 15-20 seconds and, as suddenly as it came, it went and we were back to the almost complete silence 30 seconds previously.

What should I do with this life-impacting event (because, for me, that’s what it was)?

a)    Write it off as nothing more than one of those “willey-willey”s that occasionally can be seen in a paddock or field as one drives out in the country? That would be a natural explanation that would satisfy the mind of those who only acknowledge the natural realm.

b)    The timing, as with the eagles, would not permit me to write it off as coincidence.

c)     I couldn’t help but think of that passage in Acts 2/2 (NLT) Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.

[I think it is significant that the Greek word for “wind” is the same as the word for “spirit” i.e. “pneuma”. I’m not suggesting that this wind was in some way Bev’s spirit; my agnosticism (let alone my theology!) will not permit that equation]

Again , I chose to believe all three options without any sense of contradiction.

I believe that too many well-meaning people want to label certain experiences as “miracles” when those experiences don’t warrant or deserve that title.

Equally, there are others who need to open themselves to the realm of the Spirit where miracles do happen.

 

 

 

 

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