A miracle is an extraordinary event that appears to be more than a coincidence. It doesn’t just happen to those who are virtuous, because it happened to me. It’s not that I’m bad, but my thoughts aren’t always about skipping through the tulips. And, because I’m a phenomenal procrastinator, I’m on the short list for good deeds.
Anyway, let me give you the backstory. My mother, Stefanina, immigrated from Italy to Ohio in December of 1947. Throughout her 92 years, she was passionate (I gonna kill-uh you!), expressive (He is a jack ass-uh!), and headstrong (Go to hell you son-uh-muh-baitch!). However, she had an unshakeable faith that revealed her generous and caring heart. When she died in February of 2020, I had concerns about her spiritual well-being and prayed for her daily.
I finally decided to ask my mother and the angels to give me a sign her eternal soul–and I’ll be blunt–didn’t need a fire extinguisher. On the night of August 7, 2021, I prayed fervidly, “Mom, I just want to know you’re in heaven. Would you, or the angels, please somehow signal me you’re okay?”
Now my mother, who had been an avid walker, loved looking for lost change on parking lots, sidewalks, and roads. I do, too. So I groveled for a while, repeated my prayer request, groveled some more, and then pleaded, “Can you arrange for me to find a dollar bill on my daily walk?”
Then I thought about it and said, “Actually, a five-dollar bill would be more convincing. And,” I emphasized, “please make sure I can see it.” It’s a wonder a lightning bolt didn’t smite my nagging tongue and make it hiss and pop like a slab of sizzling bacon.
Well, the next evening I went for a three-mile stroll with my husband, Michael. I did not tell him how I had hounded heavenly beings and my mother’s dear departed soul the previous day. As we walked, I scanned the sidewalks, the devil strips, and as far into the roads as I could see. I found a dime. Michael knows I can be a loon about finding coins, so he didn’t say anything. Needless to say, I felt disappointed.
Seven o’clock the following morning I went for a solo power walk around our neighborhood. I had to be on time for a prearranged commitment, so I didn’t scour the pavement for money. Then a block from my house I nearly stepped on something lying flat in the center of the sidewalk. I glanced downward in mid-stride. The gaunt face of President Abraham Lincoln gazed upward from a five-dollar bill. I gasped aloud, “I don’t believe it! I just don’t believe it!”
Of course, I did believe it. Why? Because God blessed me with a rational brain, not a head of cabbage. Clearly this mini miracle answered my prayers. I thanked the angels, thanked the Lord, and praised God. Then I talked with my passionate, expressive, and headstrong Italian mama with unshakeable faith.
Pictured here is the five-dollar bill as it appeared when I almost stepped on it. It lie flat in the middle of the sidewalk except for a slight bend on the side of President Lincoln’s face. I kept the bill and used it to stage these photos.
Mark 11:24, NAB
“Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.”(Mark 11:24, NAB)
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