Foreword: Allowing Miracles

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

Allowing Miracles

If you ask people to define what a “miracle” is, odds are a lot of them will describe an epic, Cecil B. DeMille movie moment, like Moses raising his staff to the sky as God parted the Red Sea or Jesus of Nazareth bringing Lazarus back to life four days after he’d been dead and buried.

These are the kind of larger-than-life miracles that are described in the Hebrew and Christian bibles—and in the scriptures of other religions, as well—stories that capture people’s attention big time. As far as defining miracles go, these dramatic, God-like moments are at the top of the list.

But the list doesn’t end there, thousands of years ago in faraway lands. Miracles don’t only happen to people we will never know who are long gone.

Today, we hear about all sorts of modern-day miracles. Everyone’s heard about the mother who, in a burst of adrenaline, can lift a 3,000-pound car to save her child pinned underneath. Recently, there was a story in the newspaper about a ninety-one-year-old woman in Poland who was dead in the morgue for eleven hours before coming back to life in a body bag, leaving doctors stunned.

In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles — 101 Inspirational Stories of Faith, Answered Prayers & Divine Intervention, you will read about all sorts of miracles that happen every day to people you may know: A woman who takes ill while driving feels the hands of a deceased friend take over the wheel for her; A little girl badly burned in a campfire sees her burns heal overnight after a prayer vigil; A teenager hears a voice that tells her to take a walk outside, and it leads her to an area where she saves a woman’s life.

Some miracles of life are so common that people take them for granted. A baby coming into the world is a miracle, as is someone passing away and crossing to the Other Side. Every year when spring arrives and the trees in my back yard begin to bud, I’m amazed. To me, these small miracles are just as awe-inspiring as the larger-than-life ones of the old days and the modern ones we hear of today, and I’m grateful for each and every one of them.

The point is, miracles come in all shapes and sizes, and this book is filled with a wide variety of them. The personal stories you’ll read here about hope, faith, answered prayers and divine intervention are to me all about one thing—our connection to a higher power or divine source.

It’s a connection we all have, and recognizing that is the first step to allowing miracles, big and small, into your life.

In the work that I do as a psychic medium, that is the most important truth I try to convey. At my events all over the world, the question I’m most often asked no matter what country I’m in is: “How can I get a stronger connection with the spirit world and how can I do what you do?”

I always correct people who insist that I have a “gift.” I don’t look at it that way. I have an ability — it’s something I’ve had since childhood for as long as I can remember. But it’s an ability we all have to some degree, one that everyone can tap into and strengthen if they choose to. It’s all about noticing, embracing, and welcoming it into your life.

“There is an energy out there,” I explain to audiences, “and you are made of this energy. You can call it ‘chi’ or you can call it ‘prana.’ You can call it a higher power or you can call it ‘God’ or ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Allah.’ I don’t care if you call it ‘Sam.’ It doesn’t matter what you label it. It just matters that you acknowledge that this unseen energy is there.”

Once you make that connection, miracles await you like a new world awaiting discovery. When Christopher Columbus set out across the Atlantic Ocean, he didn’t know for sure what he would find. But he had to have hope and faith that a new world was out there in order to find it.

It wasn’t a blind faith, mind you. I’m not a fan of the kind of faith in which people believe everything they are told and don’t question anything. People are surprised when I describe myself as a “healthy skeptic” in my approach to life, but I am and always was.

So while I’m not a fan of blind hope, I am a fan of what I call “inspired” hope.

In this book, in the story “Never Walk Again?”, doctors tell eighty-nine-year-old Beulah Dobson that she won’t be able to walk after breaking her vertebrae in a fall. But she refuses to give up hope that she will, and her hope is not unfounded. She doesn’t lie in her bed waiting for an impossible miracle to happen. She senses the possibility of it and prays and works hard exercising, willing her feet to move a little at a time each day until she helps to make her miracle happen, until she walks again. She was hopeful, but also inspired.

Prayer is a way for us to invite divine intervention into our lives.

I pray every day, sometimes using a rosary but not always. In my book, Practical Praying, I talk about praying with intention. It doesn’t so much matter what prayer you say or if you get on your knees when you do it or walk the dog around the park as you do it. What’s important about the act of praying is that just in the doing of it, you are stating an intention to the universe, to the higher or divine source.

In “Jesse in the Sky” Scarlett Lewis prays with heartbreaking intention as she cries in a bathroom stall in the Orlando airport. When she leaves the airport, the answer to her prayers is written in the sky—literally.

Praying is like setting the Thanksgiving table before the guests come. When you say a prayer, you are welcoming the miracles into your house to sit at your dinner table. Prayer is a way for us to imagine the undiscovered land we hope to find before we even see it.

Maybe in today’s world, we don’t expect seas to part or water to turn into wine. But as this inspiring collection of stories shows us, we can hope for miracles when we need them. And sometimes, they arrive when and how we least expect them.

~John Edward

Editors’ note: John Edward is one of the world’s foremost psychic mediums. His clientele has included people of the clergy, law enforcement agencies, and people from everyday life. For thirty years he has used his abilities to connect people with loved ones who have passed on—in private readings, at public events all over the world, and on his internationally syndicated talk shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country.

He is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best sellers One Last Time; What If God Were the Sun; Crossing Over: The Stories Behind the Stories; After Life: Answers from the Other Side; Final Beginnings; Practical Praying: Using the Rosary to Enhance Your Life; Infinite Quest, and his most recent novel, Fallen Masters.

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