Last week, I wrote about a medical miracle.
If you read last week’s Mid-Week Miracle, you may be wondering if I have a new hip or if God surprised me with a last-minute miracle.
Well… I have a new hip AND God surprised me with a last-minute miracle.
Miracles Come in all Languages
The supernatural demonstration of God’s hand at work in the midst of my unwanted circumstances was different from the miraculous healing I’d requested to avoid surgery, but God’s activity proved every bit as dramatic—and shocking. I wish I could describe the surprised look on the very first face I saw after my hip met up with the scalpel.
But first, let me back up to the moments before I was wheeled into the operating room last week. All alone in my little curtained-off cubby, I had one last chance to pray. The peri-op nurse had turned my care over to the surgical nurse, who had just slipped in and out of my little cubby to let me know my surgery was imminent and she would be back soon.
“Lord,” I whispered. “This is it. I guess I’m not gonna get the miracle I wanted, but I still love and trust you.”
Immediately, a random thought popped into my head. “What happened at Pentecost was a miracle, too.”
I tend to treat random thoughts as if they came from God, and so I followed that train before continuing my whispered prayer. I remembered how the fascinating Bible story in Acts 2:1-13 describes the strange occurrence at the first Pentecost after Jesus’s death and resurrection. It’s one thing to quietly pray in a language that only God and I can hear, and only God can understand. It’s quite another to speak like the disciples did that day, causing a crowd to gather in bewilderment.
Acts 2:7-8 says, “Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?’”
I whispered a prayer in the only language I know. “I want to do that, Lord. I want to bring glory to you by speaking someone’s language today.”
Even typing those words makes me realize what a strange request I’d made. But wanting to be “utterly amazed” at what God can do, I had jumped aboard my random thought train.
The surgical nurse returned and said, “It’s time.” She wheeled me into the operating room, where I saw the team preparing for my procedure. Nurses positioned my gurney adjacent to a sterile surface and gently transferred me. Large lights were illumined and repositioned over me. Then everything went dark.
Until I looked up into a surprised face as I regained consciousness.
“Do you speak Hmong?” The young man wore scrubs, and his dark eyes were open wide.
“What?” I asked. Not because I hadn’t heard him, but because I had not expected that to be the first thing I would hear post-op. The last thing I remembered hearing was the surgical nurse telling me “It’s time.”
“Do you speak Hmong? When I came up to you just now, you greeted me in my native language.”
My last-minute prayer rushed into my mind. “I greeted you in Hmong? What did I say?”
But he still needed an answer. “Do you speak Hmong?” he asked a third time.
“No. I don’t.”
He shrugged it off and said, “You must have been babbling from the anesthesia.”
“No!” I insisted. “I wasn’t babbling. I prayed to speak someone’s language.” I shared my odd request moments before surgery and then asked again, “What did I say?”
As he told me, I prayed he would believe not only that I had spoken Hmong, but also that he had been greeted by the God of miracles, who loves him and speaks his native tongue.
Acts 2:12-13 says, “Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
I knew I hadn’t been babbling from anesthesia, but did he?
Just then, I repeated the phrase back to him with perfect annunciation.
That’s when the surprised look turned to utter amazement.
As if on cue, another nurse walked by and I called out, “Did you hear that I said—” and I repeated the greeting. While I have no recollection now of what I said then, God allowed me to repeat the phrase to yet a third staff member who passed by as the startled post-op nurse continued to wheel me into recovery.
As soon as I was alone, I giggled with glee. I may have a prosthetic hip, but God was right. What happened at Pentecost was a miracle, too.