“Don’t be afraid, just believe.”Mark 5:36
This is a small, true story about two big miracles.
Instead of going with my husband to church one Sunday morning, I decided to head down to the beach on my own. Armed with an Almond Chai Latte and my Bible, I was keen to soak in some warm, summery time of connection and meditation.
It was gloriously peaceful laying sprawled out in the sand. I was amazed at a story of faith I was reading where Jesus raised a little girl back to life after her father came running to him distraught, asking Jesus to heal her. Even on his way to the little girl, Jesus stopped to heal another woman who had been suffering for so many years, simply because she believed in him. I was amazed at their faith and the way Jesus responded to them and it got me reflecting on the extent of my own belief. I stood up and began to dust myself off of the sand that was stuck all over my legs, getting ready to sit down with some deep thoughts.
There’s really only one way you can effectively deal with sticky sea sand and that is with some serious sweeping and swiping of the hands back and forth. But take it from me, never underestimate the slippery effect that fine beach sand has between jewellery and skin. On about the third fierce flick backward, my precious wedding rings went flying off my hand and landed who knows where in the sand that surrounded me.
I went from inspired to terrified faster than you could spell faith, stunned in disbelief. Initially, I tried to play it cool with myself but it wasn’t long before the panicked praying kicked in; “Oh God, please no. Please, God – Oh God Please – no no no – Please God.” Those desperate words swirled in my heart as I kneeled to sieve and sort through the seashore. Who was I kidding though? This was impossible. They’re gone.
At this point of realisation, I was now sobbing on the phone to my husband asking him to pray as I dragged one foot along the sand, drawing a giant square around the general area of my meditation spot. If anyone tried to approach me, you best believe I was going to tell them to step no further in no uncertain terms. I was a devastated mess, the beach was filling up and people were starting to eyeball me.
In the middle of my frenzy, a memory came to mind of a similar situation I was in with a friend about 18 years ago. We were out celebrating New Year’s Eve and during the party, my friend approached me heartbroken and upset because she had just found out that one of her sentimental rings had gone missing by the person she loaned it to. I didn’t know what to do except suggest praying for it. So we quickly ducked outside to ask God to help us find it. The next morning, while I was admiring the view from the balcony, I saw something sparkling in the dirt below us. It was her ring.
Back at the beach, as I remembered that situation, I took a deep breath in, and when I exhaled I prayed a mostly confident, slightly uncertain, silent prayer and asked; “God, you’ve done this for me once, I know you can do it again. Please, God, help me find my wedding rings.”
I will do my best to explain what happened next but I struggle to understand and articulate the sheer odds of it all.
After my little prayer, I went over and kind of slumped myself down somewhere near my stuff to wait for my husband to meet me. I zoned out toward the ocean for a little bit and then, as I happened to lean back, without actively searching, I dipped my left hand into the sand and instantly felt something. No way. I pinched at it and carefully pulled my hand out. I was astonished to see my engagement ring dangling between my thumb and fingers. Immediately, I dipped my hand into the sand a second time and once again, I felt a small object. While I carefully removed my hand from the sand, my jaw dropped in awe as I stared back at my wedding ring. within seconds, I had recovered both my rings.
I was a hot mess moving all over the place before this incredible moment, so the utter chances of me sitting myself down and placing my hands directly into the sand at the precise location of my rings, two times in a row, can only be explained as a miracle.
It was honestly hard to accept what just happened, it almost didn’t feel real. I was freaked out and overwhelmed with relief at the same time and all I could do was sob like a child, right there on the beach, in public, still getting eyeballed.
A lady eventually came up to see if I was okay. Through tears of relief and absolute wonder, I told her I had just lost and found my wedding rings in the sand. The lady seemed a bit perplexed, wanting to know more. So she asked; how did you lose them? I told her the story and I watched as her eyes widened in sympathetic panic. Then she asked me; “and how did you find them?” I took a big breath, smiled and responded sincerely; “I prayed and asked God to help me.”
You can’t make this stuff up.