55: A Time for Miracles

55: A Time for Miracles

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

A Time for Miracles

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

~Author Unknown

Every once in a great while, I have the dream. I’m eight again. I’m watching blood from my mother’s head drip onto the blades of spring grass. Her hair is wet. The blood is thick and won’t stop falling. I’m screaming. I’m crying. Life is vanishing from Mom’s body.

Only moments before I’d been a worry-free second grader. Dad was tinkering outside in his workshop. Mom and my four-year-old brother were mowing the lawn. I remained inside while my baby sister slept in her crib. My black-haired baby sister who nearly died of congenital heart defects, and now, finally was at home with us. We considered her a miracle from God.

But God wasn’t finished performing miracles. That quiet spring evening, God had many more miracles in store for my family.

Although charged with checking on my sister, something propelled me outdoors. Looking back, I consider this a miracle in and of itself. It put me in the right place at the right time. And for the events about to transpire, every second mattered.

Upon stepping outside, I found my little brother hysterical. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Mommy’s hurt!” he choked.

I looked up to see Mom bent over the tractor at the back of our property.

“No, she’s not,” I assured him. “She’s fixing the tractor.”

To mow the lawn, my parents used a set of blades hooked to the back of a small garden tractor. The tractor’s tires had been wrapped with chains, which allowed for better traction in the garden.

“No!” he wailed. “She’s hurt! She’s hurt!”

“C’mon,” I said. “I’ll show you.”

My brother wouldn’t budge. I skipped across the yard. As I approached Mom, it still looked as if she were bending over performing repairs. I leaned down, getting close to her face, to ask what she was repairing. Then, my agonizing screams filled the air too. No one can prepare for such a tragic sight, especially a child. Mom’s face and hair were drenched in blood, her head wedged beneath the seat of the tractor. But somehow, someway, in that horrifying condition, with oxygen cut from her airway, another miracle happened.

Mom spoke.

“Get… your dad,” she instructed, in a raspy, gasping voice.

Immediately, I dashed across the lawn to Dad’s workshop. Cutting and sawing, he hadn’t heard anything. We rushed to Mom. Petrified, Dad tried frantically to free her. The efforts proved futile.

“Mom! Mom!” I screamed, terrified.

And then, Mom spoke again.

“Get… the kids… in… the house,” she said. “Call… the… ambulance.”

Mom’s words came out slow and slurred, but deliberate.

We raced for the house. I grabbed my brother. Dad called for an ambulance and rushed back outside. At that moment, though knowing Mom teetered on the precipice of life and death, a sudden calm came over me. My fear subsided. My tears ceased. Everything became clear to me and I understood that my brother—who’d been guided safely off that tractor—shouldn’t witness the events outdoors. I closed the curtains, turned on the television, asked him to watch, and directed him not to look outside.

Later I discovered what transpired beyond the walls as we waited. The ambulance crew struggled to release Mom from her pinned position. Then, another member of the crew arrived—a former state-wrestling champion, who, amazingly had gone to school with Mom. But at that moment, he didn’t recognize her. Gifted with great strength, adrenaline soaring through his body, the man seized that tractor seat and ripped it from its foundation. The air flowed again to her weak body. But she still remained trapped. Mom’s sweater had wrapped around an axle. Her classmate removed the tire and cut Mom free.

On the way to the hospital, Mom nearly succumbed to shock. With her blood pressure dangerously low, the crew feared coma or death. To prevent this, Mom needed to stay awake. Besides a crushed head and oxygen deprivation, her left arm hung nearly detached from her body. She was bleeding to death. The friend, who saved her life, finally recognized Mom. He spoke her name.

“Who is it?” Mom asked.

“It’s Jack,” he said.

Barely able to see, Mom looked upon his face. And she remembered. When Jack talked, she responded. Had Jack not been there, I wonder if perhaps Mom might have surrendered to sleep.

Throughout most of the night, Mom remained in critical condition. Mom’s sister stayed with us kids. My aunt’s presence brought comfort. She would take care of things that night. I lay in bed awake, aching for Mom, when finally my aunt delivered wonderful news. Mom would live.

When Mom regained consciousness, she explained what happened. As she mowed the lawn with my brother on her lap, suddenly the unthinkable occurred. The bottom button of her cardigan sweater caught on the tire’s chains. Mom tugged to break free, but quick as lightning the mighty force yanked her beneath the tractor tire, which repeatedly ran over her face before pinning her head under the seat.

Over the next few months, Mom underwent orthodontic repairs and plastic surgery on her face. Though extensive, it could have been much worse. Before mowing the lawn, miraculously, Mom had removed her glasses. This act was out of character. Mom always wore her glasses. With them on, she would have likely been blinded.

Surgeons also performed reconstructive surgery on Mom’s arm. But though attached, the limb remained immobile. Experts warned of lifetime paralysis. Once again, the Lord intervened. A doctor suggested electroshock therapy might reignite the damaged nerves. Mom went diligently, working to regain mobility and strength. She pushed past excruciating pain and fatigue. For months we watched. For months we waited, willing that arm to stir. Then, one autumn day, a joyous event occurred—her little finger moved. And one by one each finger slowly awakened from hibernation, followed by the hand, and then the entire arm.

Many don’t believe God performs miracles in the current age. But my eyes and heart have personally known them. I didn’t witness the parting of the Red Sea, observe hills filled with horses and chariots of fire, as did Elisha and his servant, or see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. However, my eight-year-old eyes witnessed God’s loving intercession and precious deliverance. I can’t say why God intervenes in some instances and not others. But I do know, in my heart, that our creator actively participates in our lives, and his reassuring love propels me onward with continued hope.

~Lisa Mackinder

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