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On the wings of pigs

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By Nancy Kennedy

A few years ago I wrote about seeing a pig fly. What I meant by that was seeing the surprising answer to a prayer, something I thought I'd only see "when pigs fly." In other words, never.

But God seems to delight in never and impossible. A woman who called the newsroom last week reminded me of that.

She didn't want her name in the paper, but she wanted to tell someone her story. Someone who would believe her and not laugh at her. Someone who believes that God can and does do strange and wonderful and impossibly improbable things.

You know, like make pigs fly.

She said her eyesight used to be so bad that she couldn't see without her glasses, but now she can and her only explanation is that God did it.

It happened two years ago. One night she went to bed unable to see the numbers on the clock and the next morning she could.

She said it took a few seconds to realize that she could read the clock without her glasses and a few more to realize that she could see her face in the mirror. She said it was the power of God and a miracle and that people don't believe in miracles much anymore.

It's too bad, too, because we could use a few these days, she said.

She said that prior to waking up able to see she experienced some strange happenings inside a closet - things moving that shouldn't be moving. She said she believes God was trying to get her attention.

Maybe he was; I don't know. God doesn't check in with me first before he does something in another person's life, or even in my own. He just does stuff because he's God and no one can stop him. That's one of the perks of being God.

The woman who called said she tried telling people about what she experienced, but most were skeptical. They'd ask, "Why would God do that for you and not me?"

I hope no one ever asks me that because I don't know. God does things for people with strong faith and also for those with weak faith, so faith can't be the main factor when it comes to miracles.

Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding, not because people prayed and believed he would, but because he didn't want the wedding host to be embarrassed that the wine had run out.

The woman who called said her favorite story in the Bible is of Paul's conversion. He was on the road to Damascus to arrest Christians just for being Christians when a light from heaven blinded him and the voice of Jesus asked, "Why are you persecuting me?"

Paul continued on to Damascus, but instead of being a Christ- and Christian hater he was transformed into probably the greatest Christ follower in history. But for three days in Damascus he remained blind until he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9).

That's a good miracle story, but I prefer the dead people getting up and walking stories the best. Of course, you could say that any conversion story is also a death-to-life story - a pig-flying story.

We need - well, I need - to hear a good miracle story every now and then because I tend to get caught up in the impossibilities and improbabilities of life. I never want to presume that God will do something, which I think is a healthy respect for God's very Godness. But too often that drifts into thinking that some situations are beyond redemption and some people beyond reaching and I start believing that not even God can do something I want him to do.

That's usually when I'll learn a bit of information, like hearing a story about a woman who no longer needs her glasses to see, and I'll be reminded that God indeed is more than able to send pigs into orbit.

I don't know why I forget that, because I've seen it before and I have faith that I'll see it again.

God can make people see. He can change people's hearts. He can make drunks sober, knit unraveled families back together, heal broken lives. 

As I've said before, he really can and occasionally does make pigs fly.