imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Miracle from a little child

In these times of trouble, do miracles still exist?

Our world of COVID 19 is filled with stories of kindness, bravery, heroism and sacrifices of our health frontliners. Many of them have died and we probably need a miracle from above to stop this pandemic.

Stories of greatness and miracles could be read from inspired people all over the world. But may I start my story with a fiction before dropping the main part of my column. These inspiring stories circulate throughout the world until finally it reached me.

The story goes like this, fellas.

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied,

“Things aren’t always what they seem.”

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel: “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night, as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.”

Really, things aren’t always what they seem.

This second story made me cry and while writing it, I couldn’t contain my tears, fellas.

It happened at a time when a dry spell hit the land. It was narrated by one Zane E. Searles.

Zane narrated:

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through.

“Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn’t see some rain soon…we would lose everything.

It was on these days that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year-old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn’t walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back.

He was obviously walking with a great effort … trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed.

Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour. He would walk carefully to the woods, then run back to the house. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer, and I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen…as he was obviously doing important work and didn’t need his Mommy checking up on him).

He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked, being very careful not to spill the water he held in them … maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face, but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose.

As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site I have ever seen in my life. Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away because a huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him…he didn’t even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny deer laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy’s hand.

When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house to faucet to which we had shut off the water. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift “cup,” as the sun beat down on his little back.

And it came clear to me: the trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before; the lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water and the reason he didn’t ask me to help him.

It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. “I’m not wasting,” was all he said.

As he began his walk, I joined him…with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life.

As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops…and more drops…and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence – that miracles don’t really exist, that it was bound to rain sometime. And I can’t argue with that… I’m not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm…just like the actions of one little boy saving another.

I don’t know if anyone will read this…but I had to send it out to honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon…

But not before showing me the true face of God, in a little, sunburned body.”

As I close this column, may we look up for a while and thank God for the miracle that we still exist out of his kindness despite these trying times.

Thank you, Lord.

Amen.