Friday, September 17, 2004

Signs and Wonders

SEPTEMBER 17
OUR FAMILY'S MEMORIAL OF MARY'S MIRACULOUS ROSE

Today a single, pink rose sits in a vase in front of our statues of the Holy Family and Mary, next to a small jar that contains dried rose petals. It is our tribute to a miracle that Tom and I experienced.

We told a few people when it happened. They greeted this story with reactions of belief or skepticism depending on their natures. I told my CRHP retreat team when we shared our faith experiences with each other. Later I was privileged to share this as part of my witness to the next CRHP team during the retreat we held for them. Now I am sharing the story here and you may make of it what you will. All I know is that it happened and was miraculous enough to render my extremely practical husband speechless.

I could write much more than anyone would care to read and not be able to convey all the memories and emotions that this day holds for me of that time. Below is part of the witness I shared.
It has seemed good to me to publish the signs and wonders which the most high God has accomplished in my regard. (Daniel, Chapter 3, Verse 99)

When Tom and I went to Houston on the Friday after his father had his stroke, we were in for a terrible shock. We had been told the stroke was minor but, in fact, it was major. We checked into a hotel that adjoined the hospital and never stepped outside again until we left on Monday afternoon. There were many moments of total despair and raw emotion … it was a terrible time. I prayed ceaselessly and finally threw myself at the feet of the Holy Family. It was a huge moment of realization for me ... I will never forget sitting there realizing that we were totally helpless and only God has control.

Finally Tom’s father seemed to improve and we were really happy as we got ready to leave. As Tom drove the car around to where I was waiting with the luggage, I saw a flash of pink. A friend had given me a rose to take to Tom’s mother. It was just opening perfectly when we arrived. I left the rose in the car thinking I would give it to her later. Of course, the way things turned out we hadn't been back to the car the whole time. That rose had been forgotten in a closed car in a parking garage in 90° weather for close to 4 days.

When I walked around to my side of the car, I told Tom, “I forgot all about that rose. There’s a trash can over there. I'll throw it away.” He just looked at me and said, “Julie, you’re not going to believe your eyes.” and opened my door so I could see. The rose was perfect. It had not changed a bit since we left it in the car. It was unwilted and the heart was just opening. It was as if time had stood still. I held it on my lap all the way back to Dallas and in a half an hour it had wilted to exactly the state I expected to find it in originally. It was like watching time lapse photography in front of our eyes.

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