My First Miracle

My First Miracle

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith

My First Miracle

Make your own optimism come true.

~Author Unknown

I believe in miracles because I’ve seen so many of them.

A patient was referred to me who was one hundred and two years old. “There’s a sore under my denture,” she said. “I told my own dentist it’s nothing, but he insisted I come see you.”

Her eighty-year-old son accompanied her. He would occasionally attempt to add something to her story but she would say, “Hush up, son!” She wanted to tell it herself. I found a large cancer that extended over much of the roof of her mouth. A biopsy later confirmed the diagnosis—a particularly bad sort of cancer.

During her next appointment, I explained to her the seriousness of the problem. She reached down, clasped my hand in hers and said, “I know you’re worried about me, but I’m just fine.”

I knew differently. After considerable effort on my part, and kindness on her part because she wanted to please me, she consented to have me refer her to a cancer surgeon. She saw him, but as I expected, declined treatment.

About six months later she returned to my office.

“How are you?” I asked. Her son started to speak, but she told him to hush once again.

“I’m just fine, honey,” she said to me. “When can I get started on fixing my denture?”

Surprised to see her at all, I sputtered, “Let me take a look in your mouth and we’ll see about it.” I was thinking, no way.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The cancer that had covered nearly the entire roof of her mouth was gone—only one small area of redness remained.

I had read of such things happening, but had never actually seen them with my own eyes. I was dumbfounded.

“You see, honey? Like I told you, I’m fine,” she said, patting my antiseptically gloved hand.

Now I believed her.

That was my first miracle. Since then I’ve seen many others, because they keep getting easier to see. In fact, miracles are daily events for me now. Every time I remember to take a slow, deep breath, I think about the miracle of being alive—how the sun rises and the Earth turns, all the while shooting through space at thousands of miles an hour. And people are a miracle, for through them we have a chance to know ourselves, to know God and to love beyond ourselves. We have a chance to show kindness, to provide service, and to see the miracles of one another.

Since my first miracle, I’ve come to understand that the time and place for a miracle is wherever we choose to find it.

~Dane E. Smith

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