Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stop Believing in Miracles and Start Counting on Them

(Editor's Note: A couple of years ago published a true story of help offered and received in an anonymous situation. A "random act of kindness" so to speak. It was entitled "Prayer for a very pretty lady at ARCO". A comment to that story was sent to It is from the brother of our Theology Editor, Paul Dion, STL.)

Shared by Paul Dion, STL

Denis Dion (French spelling) is the author and editor-in-chief of a daily email prayer/exhortation column entitled "Reef Lection." This is his story.

We invite our readers to reflect on Isaiah 49 (we print it in the story below) and read the true experience that Denis and his family had of being held in the hand of God. Then we ask that you forward his story to as many people as possible so they too could be blessed by Denis' faith story.

Finally, if you have your own personal stories of how God created miracles in your lives, post it as a comment below so it can be a testament to the world as to how God does play into the lives of everyday people like yourselves.

Thank you and God bless. Enjoy Denis' story.
- Paul Dion, STL

Stop Believing in Miracles and Start Counting on Them
By Denis Dion

In the Spring of 1982 I had been working for a radio station in the local area for 17 years. I had an agreement with the owner that I would get$25.00 each time I did the play-by-play of a sporting event that took place outside of my regular working hours.

This one time a basketball game went into overtime and beyond my working hours. I put in for my "talent fee" and the new manager refused to pay me. It was a Friday and I came home and told Anna May (my wife) what had transpired. She wanted me to stand up to them since they had been using me for years.

So we prayed on it that weekend, and the Spirit guided the entire situation. On Monday, I went to the owner and he said he'd have to talk with the manager to get his side of the story. The manager got upset that I had gone over his head and told me there was no way I was getting the $25.00. I told him that as of that moment my fee was $75.00. Their response to that was to fire me.

When I went to the Unemployment office they had to interview me since I had been terminated. Then they had to interview the man who fired me. I won the case but this took about five weeks to play out.

Now, Anna May and I had started a savings account so that we might be able to get to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. To that point we had saved $450.00. Anna May was only working about 10 hours a week for a struggling new attorney so she wasn't earning hardly anything and our 5 children were all teenagers, from 13 to 19. I don't have to tell you, that $450.00 didn't last very long.

After the 4th week I mentioned to Anna May my doubts about whether or not we had heard the Spirit correctly in responding to our prayer when someone slipped an envelope through our mail slot.

There was a $300.00 Teller's Check in a card with a tiny picture in the bottom left hand corner of the card. The picture was that of a person standing in the palm of a hand. Beneath the picture was simply marked "Isiaiah 49."

I wasn't familiar with the verse then, but I sure am now. "Does a mother forget her child in the womb? Even if she should forget, I will not forget you my child. I have you in the palm of my hand."

We took that $300.00 and bought a quarter side of beef and other foods. I brought it home and Anna May got to work cooking up all sorts of meals, spaghetti sauces, lasagna, chili, stroganoff, stews etc.

At one point I came into the kitchen and here she was in the middle of it all crying like a fool. When I asked what was wrong she told me about one of her friends whose husband had just walked out on her and her five kids, the same age as ours, and how she was left with nothing.

She sent me to get the biggest box I could find and loaded it up with a stack of these meals in tinfoil containers. Then we sent our son to drop them off at her brother's house with a note instructing him whom these meals were for.

And that was the beginning of a long experience of what it feels to live in the palm of God's hand.

The following week I found out I had won my case at Unemployment. The check I received was less than half of my former take-home pay, but at least it was something. We never changed our life style.

A few weeks later we took $50.00 of our mortgage money to buy meats for a sister-in-law who was injured on the job and needed the food for her son's wedding. We bought the meat and prepared the platters. Following the ceremony we came back to the house to pick up the platters and found another envelope on the floor under our mail slot with $50.00 cash in it.

Again, no name.

I was over 40 and over-qualified so no one wanted to hire me and as my unemployment dragged on, it became quite evident that God definitely was carrying us in the palm of his hand.

Anna May handles the budget and she would sit at the table on Fridays and shake her head. She'd say to me, 'Well, all our bills are paid, but I don't know what we're going to do nextweek." And then the following Friday, it would be the same story. "We're ok for this week, but I don't know how we'll get by next week."

Week after week for a year and half this went on. Sometimes money would just come through the mail slot, other times either Anna May or me would find extra work that came out of nowhere.

We never added up all the money that came through that mail slot, but I'm certain it was over $1,000.00. It was one miracle after another.

We stopped believing in miracles and began to depend on them.

It was truly a beautiful time in our lives. We were closer to God then than ever before. He provided what we needed, nothing more, nothing less, faithfully.

Besides all the material needs He provided, the greatest gift was the strengthening of our Faith and the loving memories of being carried in His arms. Many were the times during that year and a half that I remembered a key moment in my life.

When I was 17, in a seminary on Easter Sunday morning, I was listening to a piece of music entitled "The Risen Christ" being played by the music director before Mass. The music took me to the Tomb and I realized that the tremendous sacrifice Jesus paid for my sins and the miracle of His rising from the tomb saved me.

What I said to Him was; "I may not become a priest, but I will always believe in you."

That was not from my head and not from my heart but from the soul that accepted the Christ that had saved it.

Working for Jesus always came easily to me since I didn't have to worry about the salary. I had already been paid.

Thus, after leaving the Seminary (High School level) I got into broadcasting and worked for local radio stations for 25 years and for a local TV station for 21 years. Announcing and copy writing were my forte and I carried these gifts over to ministry in the Church. For a few years I volunteered as the announcer for "Crossroads" a weekly radio program produced by the Passionist Fathers and distributed around the world.

A few years after my marriage to a very Faith-filled woman, Anna May, we both became very involved in ministry to mentally handicapped children and adults through a diocesan bureau for Exceptional Children and Adults. We have a daughter with special needs, so this was a natural for us. Then came ten years of involvement in Marriage Encounter at the Passionist Retreat House in West Springfield.

Just when Anna May and I decided to start saying "no" and back off a bit my pastor asked me to start up RCIA in our parish. That lasted 20 years.

When I retired from the TV station I started the "Reef Lection" series.

My involvement in my Parish has also grown. I now bring Communion to the homebound once a week and every third week I conduct the Communion Service on the Pastor's day off. And for the last two years I have been the parish chairman for the Retreats at the Passionist Retreat center in West Hartford, CT.

The miracles have never stopped. We still live in the Palm of His Hand.

I pray that you and everyone you know also learn to live in the palm of His Hand. Please feel free to share my story with everyone you know. May they too be touched by God's Hand.
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