By Charles Towne
Do you believe in miracles? I do. But just what is a miracle? How do you explain something that defies logic? Or, if you will, how can you justify something, anything, that goes against the natural laws… the laws of nature? I can’t. But that miracles happen, yes, I believe, because I have seen them. Let me explain with a story.
Now my story is only a story… but it might very well be your story too. And if it is your story as well as my story, then it is our story. The story, and miracle, I speak of is the story of the redemption by and through Jesus Christ our Lord. It may not sound like our redemption story at first… but read on.
He was lost in the desert and dying. How he came to be in such a predicament is not really important, but that he was there was the truth of the matter. He had used the last of his water two days past. Thirsty? I should say so.
He was in desperate trouble. The sun was hot, and yet, last night almost as soon as the sun set, it became so cold he was convinced he was going to freeze to death. And now he was certain that, due to dehydration, he was beginning to hallucinate because there in front of him… just there… so close… was a grove of palm trees. At first he was sure that what he was seeing was a mirage; but no, it had to be real, because a hawk flew up from the palm trees and winged away over the dunes. As he approached the grove he was relieved to see a sight that gave him great joy. There, right in front of him, was a pool of life-giving water! He dropped to his knees next to the pool, only to realize that he couldn’t quite reach the water. He was so close, yet not close enough to get to it.
He let his eyes wander and there in the grass, at the edge of the pool, close enough that he could touch, was a tin can. One end had been cut out to enable it to be used as a cup, but it had been laying there for so long rust had eaten holes in it. Just a worthless, old, rusty tin can.
He reached out and picked the can up anyway thinking that it might yet hold a little water, and as he held it, right there in front of his own eyes (he wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t seen it) the tin can was transformed! It didn’t just change into a shiny, new tin can, oh no; it changed into a valuable, solid gold chalice! Wow! Now that might be considered a miracle, don’t you think? Maybe…?
Not questioning, he reached down with the gold chalice, dipped up some of that cool, clear water, and he drank.
Just then he heard something above him. Looking up he saw a search plane coming in for a landing. He was truly going to be saved!
He jumped to his feet, still holding the gold chalice, and with great relief and joy began to run toward the plane. But then he stopped and stared at the chalice. It was no longer gold, nor was it beautiful. What he held was just an old, rusty, tin can.
He walked back to the pool, and bending down, he smiled as he carefully laid the old tin can back where he had found it. He realized that it only had the possibility of becoming a gold chalice when it was in the presence of that pool of living water.
Isn’t that the way it is with us? Our genuine value is always there as long as we remain in the presence of the Life Giver.
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.