I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6:48-58 (KJV)
In a post from a couple of months ago I told the story about my daughter, Tricia, and an injury she sustained to the little finger on her left hand. She had caught her finger in a metal door and it was severed just above the first joint. Because of the nature of the injury, the severed portion could not be saved.
The day following the injury, a surgeon did his best to repair the finger; closing some of the tears and reattaching a small portion of the nail bed. There was not enough skin left to completely close all of the wounds, leaving portions of muscle tissue exposed. The surgeon told Tricia that the chance of infection and the possibility of further amputation was great.
For seven weeks the surgeon, the physical therapist (who also did wound care), and Tricia worked to save the finger. At first it looked as though the finger would recover, but at the five week mark it became apparent that the nail bed was dying and that the portions of the finger without skin were also dying. Surgery was scheduled for further amputation.
We were all heartsick.We had prayed faithfully. Tricia and Tim (Tricia’s husband) had felt so positive that Tricia’s finger would be saved. We had felt comforted that all would be well, yet Tricia’s finger was obviously not healing. “What does the Lord want me to learn?” Tricia asked. “What am I supposed to get out of all of this? Why did this have to happen? This is so stupid, so random!”
Three weeks ago Tricia went to the hospital for her surgery. The surgeon had told her that the procedure he had planned would take about an hour. Tricia was at peace. She had worked through her anxieties and her fears and was ready for the fact that more of her finger would be removed. “I wish we would have just taken it off seven weeks ago instead of going through all of this drama,” she had said. “I would have been seven weeks into my recovery, but instead I am starting over.”
Twelve minutes into the surgery, the surgeon came running out of the O.R. and excitedly told Tim that Tricia’s finger was recovering. “If it was my finger, I’d keep it,” he said. Tim was confused and frustrated. He told the doctor to take off the finger, that he and Tricia were tired of playing around with the situation, and that Tricia was prepared to lose her finger.
The surgeon struggled through his excitement to try and explain to Tim that Tricia’s finger was repairing itself. Skin was growing over the exposed muscle tissue. The nail bed had recovered and a new fingernail was growing. The wounds were miraculously healing! What had been dead was now living again.
The physical therapist who had also performed the wound care on Tricia’s finger has written “Miracle” across her chart. Word has spread around Tricia’s neighborhood about her growing a new finger. Our family stands in wonder and awe and humble gratitude to a Father in Heaven who has so generously bestowed a healing blessing upon one of his daughters.
When Christ was on the earth he performed many miracles. Some people believed in his miracles, others openly denied their truth. It is the same today; some say that miracles no longer exist. Tricia’s finger, to me, is tangible proof that miracles still happen and my faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, says that he was source of this miracle in our family.
I think that Tricia’s finger is the perfect symbol for this Easter season; the perfect reminder of the power of the Savior. Something that was dead is now living again.
If you would like to read Tricia’s story here are some links to her blog posts. Each post has a link to more graphic, but amazing, pictures of the finger injuries. Being mindful of the disturbing nature of the some of the pics, Tricia does not show them on the actual blog posts that she is writing, but has back links to them where she has stored them at the back of her blog:
- Monday January 30–day of injury
- Thursday, February 2, 2012–first day seen by surgeon and assessment of the extent of her injury
- Thursday, February 14, 2012–Tricia’s personal thoughts and reflections on her injury
- Thursday, March 15, 2012–Tricia’s story of the healing of her finger while she slept the night before the scheduled amputation.
As I was recently reflecting on the events in the lives of my family over the past year, other miracles came to my mind. I thought about my son, Matt, and all of the obstacles that he has over-come in his life. He has been able to conquer alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Enormous challenges. He has embraced our faith and religion. He is faithful in his service to the Savior. He prays and reads his scriptures and listens carefully to the inspiration that he gets from the Lord in the choices that he is making in his life. Walls and barriers as strong as any prison walls have crumbled and Matt is free in so many ways. We are so grateful to a merciful God who loved Matt enough to provide the miracle of forgiveness and the gift of life. In his own way, Matt has experienced a resurrection from the path of death on which he traveled. He has positive plans for his life and works so hard every day to make of his life one which will take him in positive, accomplished directions. We love you, Matt. We are so proud of you.
This is Katie. Her life, too, represents a miracle. Katie has dyslexia. She was finally diagnosed when she was just beginning the fourth grade. At that time she was reading on a first grade, first month level. Her writing was mostly illegible. A genius at math, however, she could barely read a word. In the sixth grade a miracle occurred…Katie’s reading skills increased dramatically. We had bought her the three Harry Potter books that were out at the time. Katie tried to read them. Then she tried to read them again. Pretty soon she was reading them continuously. Her mind opened and reading pathways were built in her brain. Her school work improved and she soon was on grade level with her reading.
One day my husband told Katie that she needed to move past reading Harry Potter. Katie was very upset, but my husband assured her that there were other good books to read…and he handed her The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yeah…she went from reading J. K. Rowling to reading J. R. R. Tolkien. Soon Katie was reading above grade level. In December 2010 Katie graduated a year early from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in English. She had the privilege of having had three scholarships while she attended school there. All of the scholarships were academic scholarships. No one ever knew about Katie’s dyslexia; she kept it to herself. Her dyslexia is still with her and still manifests in her spelling. When she takes tests, she is often slower than others because it takes her longer to interpret what she is being asked. She has to be very careful. Yet, all through high school and college, she never asked for special testing conditions for test taking; conditions that would have surely been granted had anyone known of her challenges. She is a living, breathing, walking miracle; a testament of a loving Heavenly Father and a merciful Savior who knows her personally and helps her daily.
So, you see, there are many miracles in my family. We love the Lord. We recognize that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that he walks beside us and is ever so mindful of each of us as individuals. He gave his life for us–for mankind everywhere–and he took it up again. Today we celebrate the resurrected Christ, he who raised himself from the dead, he who lives, he who gives life to everything and to everyone.