PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Sunday, February 24, 2013

 

Deus ex machina: Miracles I failed to see while they were happening and even years after they did

There are many miracles in the life of my family that I (or we collectively) have failed to see as such.

1. How my first brother got his second job at ____, after running into bad luck at ____, i.e., after being a union officer who was terminated for participating in a major strike. (He happened to run into a former workmate who was now in the new company.)

2. How my second brother was able to finish a third course (a third course!) after he failed in the first and found no work despite his second. I can't imagine how I was able to put him through all that.

And how he wound up in his job today, thanks to my first brother's suggestion/idea.

3. How my third brother was able to finish college -- in an exclusive Catholic school at that -- through my cousin and the kindness of his priest-friend, finishing BS Computer Science against all odds, and how he was able to find a job indirectly through the same priest. 'Accidentally' the dean or so interviewing him had the said priest as his previous mentor. That was too much, too suspiciously coincidental!

4. How I, with the help of two other elder siblings, were able to send four more younger siblings to college despite our combined finances.

5. How my two sisters were able to finish college at all, the first with the help of a scholarship she won, thanks to a rich Japanese couple as sponsors (again, through the same cousin and priest as above), the other through the family's combined effort in the face of her personal misfortune (she got pregnant at age 19).

6. How my father was saved from a great misfortune after a total stranger intervened who turned out to be a distant relative of my mother.

7. How God brought me to the series of jobs I had. Except for the first two, which I found in newspaper ads, the rest of the opportunities practically lay themselves on my doorstep. In comparison, all the other alternative potential jobs I pursued huffing and puffing ended up to be all for naught.

8. How my brothers and I survived the days of having just one pair of shoes each, the others just one ugly pair of old shoes each, but now, God changed all that, to the point of giving us a number of shoes we don't actually need.

9. How my parents, both jobless for a very long time, regained their dignity, little by little, by finding some livelihood on their own (with some financial help from us kids, of course).

10. How I was able to reach certain places and enjoy the luxurious life through heretofore unimaginable (because totally unplanned) means.

11. How I was able to purchase my much-needed laptop without an effort through an offer and payment arrangement (two years to pay) that's impossible to resist.

12. In the face of the paralyzing/debilitating nature of panic disorder, God found me a way to survive. He brought me ambulant vendors who plied me with vegetables, fruits, snacks, and other little household needs right at my doorstep. Amazing! Unbelievable!

13. How God sustains me in these times of 'famine.' Miraculously, God brings a trickle of clients my way, one at a time, exactly as needed, just in time when my wallet is emptied. Even though I am not comfortable with the arrangement, much preferring a more secure alternative, I am nonetheless amazed at how God answers my day to day needs. I can even afford to be the giver in our share of household expenses, instead of being the recipient. Amazing! Unbelievable! (I just wish He would bring more! Haha.)

(I am also thankful I have a younger brother to depend upon when all else fails.)

14. For being freed AT ALL from certain addictions/compulsions/sins/bondages.

15. For the innumerable stroke-of-genius moments, as when I prayed for this certain brother that he'd become a community member even though it seemed too unlikely, for a friend who used to be atheist to come back home to the Church, for this part of the city to witness urban renewal even when I would no longer be working near it, etc., prayers that I knew I wouldn't really benefit from.

In each of these events, I see God's mysterious hand, for the odds were stacked against us. In each case, there was unforeseen intervention while we were sleeping off the agony, as though in a play that employs the deus ex machina literary device.

Knowing how God's work is this subtle, who knows what other surprising tricks are up His sleeves?

Forgive me Lord for my ingratitude. Thank you for reminding me of these one by one. They could have been lost forever in the ungratefulness of my short memory.

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