The footpath leading into the woods on our newfound property was squirming with dozens of bright orange salamanders. So many in fact that I had to move VERY slowly and carefully to avoid stepping on one. Yuck! And so, I snarled at the Universe, "Here I am, finally feeling well enough to exercize and I can't because of these squirmy little creatures!"
Of course, I did not expect to hear a reply, but it did feel good to vent. I took a careful step forward, and then it hit me. A vibration within my soul. A voice. A response. And my dog heard it too! I kid you not, my 98-pound white German shepherd sat and listened while I stood slackjawed, nearly paralyzed. The message was loud and clear. "You wanted a forest full of salamanders."
Suddenly my mind's eye traveled back to 1958. I was seven years old. Like now, we had just moved and I was exploring a nearby tree lot. I was marveling at the clean fragrance of the air, the soft carpet of pine needles, the tufts of reindeer moss, and the huge sheets of bark that were peeling off fallen logs. I flipped one over and was charmed to see a family of squirmy little salamanders. After they all scurried for shelter, I carefully turned over another log, and found another little orange family! I was amazed. So amazed and charmed, that I looked up toward the sky and for the first time in my seven years, I thanked God for his creation. Yes, I did. And I said that the people who owned these woods, "must be the luckiest people in the world."
Of course, that day had drifted out of my memory. After all, it was followed by another move, high school, college, boy friends, work, marriage, family. You know--life. But God didn't forget. And here He was today, reminding me of the "miracles" as seen through the eyes of a seven year old. Well, by this time, I was a bit jaded. A failed marriage. Lots of hurt. Lots of loss. Actually the throes of bankruptcy had brought me and my husband to this new wooded property. But, as any believer knows, God uses our trials and tribulations for the good.
But, I wasn't sure yet what was going on. By now I knew with Whom I was speaking; yet, I struggled--like any discouraged child. "How can I believe in You?" I mumbled. "With all the hurt I've been thru. And my Mother? She's wasting away in a nursing home, filled with cancer. Why would YOU do that to someone as great as her? And besides, I'm not sure it is You. How can you possibly talk with millions of people? Billions even?"
"You can flip a switch, go on the internet and communicate with millions, can't you? So do you think it's such a stretch to realize that I can do even more?"
"Umh, well. I guess," was my feeble reply. And then, I went on to ask a series of questions about faith. Questions I'd asked all my life. Questions that now had answers. All of them, that is, except one; for I did not get an answer about my mother's cancer that day.
But the answer did come, the following week.
My brother called. "Annie, I have something to tell you about Mom."
This can't be good, I thought. But it was better than good. He said that the doctors were scratching their heads. Her cancer had disappeared. Cancer that had manifested itself throughout her entire body. Cancer that had been too far established by the time they discovered it. It was gone. Kaput. Disappeared. Healed.
I hung up. I took another walk. I thanked Him. And the next time I saw my brother, I told him about my walk and how God had answered all my questions that day except for the one. He saved that one for a miracle and He wanted this brother--I have four--to be a part of it.
Nope. God doesn't forget. It might take a day, a week, or forty-plus years; but He always comes thru. And the awesome thing is, He healed my husband of cancer a few years later and our property is now the site of the House of Angels, an outdoor sanctuary for healing and prayer. Find it at www.ChristsHouseofAngels.org. You'll love it.