Miracles happen all the time, but it's so easy to brush them off, chalking up the whole thing to coincidence, that many people ignore them.
I'm a believer, and have been since I can't remember when. It was reinforced, though, the day I ate lunch with Wendell Charles Beane, then a professor in the religion department at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh. He studied the traditions of major world religions, and his classes really interested me. I once sat in on a class, but the man is so brilliant, it was hard to understand what he said.
The day we met for lunch, however, he talked people talk, thank heaven. We sat at a window table, but a sign on the outside of the little cafe hid the table from view and provided comforting shade. Suddenly, two little hands pulled the sign away from the glass and a dirty little face peered in at us. Just looked, then grinned and ran away.
"That was God," Wendell said. "He's always watching us."
Or, words to that effect. Having God grin at me took away my senses, and I couldn't say for certain what went on after that. But Wendell said it was so, and he would know.
Shortly after that, someone at work received a huge bouquet of bright red roses, and I remember complaining that no one ever sent me flowers. "How hard would it be," I asked, "for someone to give me a rose, just a single pink rose? Those are my favorite."
Immediately, Ma Nature called, and there in the bathroom, sticking out of an on-the-wall trash container at arm's height, was a beautiful pink rose just leaving the bud stage. A perfect pink rose, a rose no one would have thrown away.
If God could grin at me through a cafe window, why wouldn't he give me a rose? A pink rose. That was my thinking then, and it remains my thinking now.
So it was no surprise the other day when I found pockets on my sweat shirt.
For more than two years, this sweat shirt jacket has hung in my closet. I've worn it maybe three times because it didn't have pockets, and I need pockets. A while back, I wore it to work and complained to a coworker on the lack of pockets. The next day I needed something to wear in the car as a hedge against air conditioning and as I told my husband how much better the jacket would be with pockets, I stuck my hand where a pocket should be AND IT WAS THERE!
Not just a small pocket, either. A big, deep pocket that could hold a lot of stuff. And better, there was a twin pocket on the other side.
I'm just saying, for two years, give or take, I refused to wear the sweat shirt because there were no pockets, and suddenly, pockets appear. Had we not been in the car, I'd have searched the house for that little grinning God.
And I'm making it known right now. That shirt could use buttons, too.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson wrote this column prior to taking a medical leave. She will be out of the office for several weeks.