Yesterday’s meditation (#39) was based on the song Sometimes Miracles Hide by Bruce Carroll. In today’s meditation there are two letters that Carroll received from people who are living the story that the song describes, and who were touched by his words. These, along many more such letters, are in a book Bruce Carroll compiled. Testimonies like these can teach us much about how to deal with life’s challenges, drawing on the strength that is ours through faith in God. The book is also called Sometimes Miracles Hide (1999).
The first time I heard your song “Sometimes Miracles Hide,” I fell in love with it and immediately bought your CD. Every time I listen to it, it makes me cry. It was as if you wrote it just for me.
Seven years ago, we had our fourth child. Ryan has down syndrome, and he has truly been a ‘miracle’ child. He came close to dying three times before he was one; he survived open heart surgery and complications from that surgery, three other surgeries, RSV, and pneumonia. In all, he was in the hospital eight times before he was twenty-one months old.
My husband, three children, and I are all Christians and very involved in our church. Like you said in the song, we don’t know why God allowed us to have Ryan, but I am so very glad that he did!… Several friends sent us cards saying that we must be special because God gave us one of his special children. At the time, we didn’t feel very special. Now we do. Not only has Ryan changed our lives, but he changes everyone he comes in contact with. He makes everyone smile.
Watching Ryan interact with people is one of my favorite ‘blessings in disguise.’ Uninhibited and overflowing with unconditional love, Ryan runs up and hugs anyone and everyone– without reserve, without prejudice. Other children, adults, the elderly– Ryan loves everyone. Maybe we all could learn more from these children.
I have shared your song with other parents of Down syndrome children. I wanted to thank you and let you know how much your song is appreciated. (pp. 56-7)
From the first time I thought about having a little girl, I knew what I wanted to name her: Angela Joy. But it was not to be– at least not for a long time. For ten years, my husband and I tried to have a child, but month after month, year after year, we faced disappointment.
The yearning to have a child can be a powerful emotion– for especially for a woman– and I struggled with depression off and on through the years. Only by the Lord’s grace did my heart and marriage survive the discouragement I felt.
When I found out that I was finally pregnant, I was overcome with joy. My husband and I and my whole family were so excited. Then came the devastating news: Our little Angela Joy had Down syndrome. All my dreams of the perfect little girl vanished. How could I give her the name I had chosen so long ago? I felt anything but joyous. Depression threatened to consume me. The day I learned the news was the saddest day of my life.
But then one Sunday morning, I heard your song on the radio. One line changed my whole outlook: “They just knew the joy they felt when they looked into her face.” God changed my heart right there and then. Angela Joy is now seven years old, and she is truly the joy of our lives. She is a precious gift from God. Thank you for the song that opened my heart to the joy God had in store for me all along. (pp. 106-7)
Job 2:9-10 — (Job’s) wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Luke 9:23 — Then (Jesus) said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Gal. 6:2 — Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Dear Father, I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. I am completely spent. But I know, Lord, that You are close to the broken-hearted and that You save those who are crushed in spirit. And so I know that You are close to me now. I have been hard pressed on every side; but not crushed; I have been perplexed, but not in despair; I have been struck down, but now destroyed. I believe that because I trust in You, I will never be put to shame. I will be strong and brave, for my hope is in You, O Lord. (p. 64, Sometimes Miracles Hide, prayer based on Psalms 38:8; 34:18; II Corinthians 4:8-9; Psalms 25:3; 31:24)