Ten years ago, I moved into a new house. Well, the house itself wasn’t new, in fact, it was 50 years old, but it was new to me. Anyway, every evening at around midnight, I would hear what I came to find out was two opossums running around in the space between the first-floor ceiling and the second floor. They sounded angry and aggressive, perhaps even fighting with each other. After many nights of hearing these sounds, which completely terrified me, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. So, I got in touch with an exterminator to come in and check things out.
When the exterminator arrived, he checked everywhere, even up to the attic. He told me that he could seal all the openings in my house, but there would be no guarantee that they would go away. I had this gut feeling that if I used this company, the problem would still persist and I would end up wasting my money. So, I took action and sealed all the openings myself. But I still heard the fighting and running around every night. It drove me crazy, but it seemed as though there was nothing left for me to do.
A few months later, I was reading a book about prayer. I had just finished reading about a specific prayer ritual when I was inspired to try it out myself. I lit a candle and bowed, paying my respects to heaven and earth, and to the sun and moon. Then I began to pray. I was feeling calm and connected about ten minutes into prayer when all of a sudden I was jolted out of my peaceful state by an angry loud noise coming from my yard. As I went to investigate the noise, I noticed that it was coming from outside, near my utility room. When I peered out the window I saw one opossum standing in front of an exterior opening to the inside of my house, guarding it against another opossum that was also trying to get in. How could it be that I completely missed this opening when I patched up the house before? I waited until about 10:00 am to make sure the opossums had not re-entered the house, and then came out and I blocked the opening. Ever since then, the noises have completely vanished. No more sounds, no more opossums. I had finally solved the problem.
I was amazed by the problem, which bothered me for more than a year, was resolved just like that. It is incredible the way that answers come about. Once I finally took the time to pray, a miracle found its way into my life. Only when I allowed myself to feel helpless and vulnerable, did I find myself in the right situation to see what I had missed before: the opening into the house. I wasn’t praying to God to help me, and I wasn’t giving up either – I simply gave myself a time out, to show humility towards the universe, and in return, I was given a miracle. I’ve been able to sleep quietly and peacefully ever since.
I also vividly remember how prayer helped to prevent a car from hitting a group of people. I volunteered to drive my friend Sue’s car from San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles to take care of some business. She had just moved here from overseas and was not familiar with the area.
I had been driving for many years and even though it was not my car, I was sure I could handle it. But when I took the exit to downtown, I felt something strange going on with the brake. It felt so loose that instead of hovering over the floor, my foot actually kissed the floor each time I pressed down on the break. Fortunately, I was able to get the car to stop at the first light. Given that it wasn’t my car, I thought maybe this was just how this particular car drove, so I continued on the road. Far ahead I could see a red light and many pedestrians getting ready to walk across the street. Given my earlier experience exiting the freeway, I immediately began to step on the brake.
Oh, no! The break was not responding! I tried hard to press on the brake but the car preceded to move forward. I still remember what it felt like to see the image of the pedestrians getting bigger and bigger as the car crept closer and closer to the crosswalk. I was so frightened that I was going to hit them. I felt so trapped that I envisioned myself holding the steel frame of a jail room. Out of panic, I yelled, “pray!” Immediately, I could hear Sue’s and her two kids so fervently and eagerly filling the car with voices of prayer. Right before I was giving up the hope, the car made a sudden stop right in front of the pedestrians.
Just like that, the car completely stopped right in front of them. Some gave me the gesture of pointing their fingers at their eyes, as if saying: “Didn’t you SEE us?” Clearly, they were scared for their lives, and so was I. None of them realized that the prayer prevented the tragedy from happening at that time.
We were all so shaken up. We got out of the car, pushed it to the side of the road and called AAA. We climbed back into the car and prayed again as we waited to get towed. We prayed with tears streaming down our faces. We thanked God for helping make everyone safe. We were also grateful to be alive to share this experience.
Now let me be clear on my interpretation of what happened with the car: I believe that miracles can come to us in times of desperation as a result of our own earnest efforts in partnership with the wonderful workings of God and/or the Universe. Had I not applied my foot to that break with all of my might, I’m not sure that the powers at be would have come to my aid. I took action, and where my actions perhaps fell short of what was needed to prevent injury or loss of life, a higher power stepped in. Therefore, in my opinion, equally important to prayer is the need for us to take responsibility for our own lives.
That being said, I believe that indeed, miracles can happen through prayer. Sometimes when we, as human beings, feel the most powerless and helpless, we can only pray. In our humble experience, prayer can spark the flame that ignites the powerful force of miracle into our lives in the most desperate of times.