Five Dollar Bills From Heaven
My natural disposition is to be suspicious when someone tells of a miraculous experience, I'm not inclined to assume a favorable interest when folks start talking about '. . . and God showed me that I . . .' or when preacher assert that 'if you have enough faith, God will . . . ', etc. I fully believe that God is God and that He is superintending His creation, that nature is His nature and that He can intervene in a manner contrary to the natural course of things whenever He chooses - my cautiousness is aimed at our own notions and perceptions and interpretations of events and circumstances, not God's capacity or willingness to work beyond the natural order of things.
So, I do believe miracles, that which stands apart or even in opposition to the natural order, happen all the time - but I, personally, am just not by temperament inclined to assume divine intervention because that is what is claimed or asserted . . . rather, right or wrong, I acknowledge that I am more inclined toward a suspicion of such claims and assertions.
However, I honestly don't know what to make of the event I'm about to share with you apart from counting it miraculous . . . a divine intervening of what the normal course of nature would permit. Decades ago, when my wife and I were still a relatively young married couple, times were quite tough. I was a high school dropout, Jimmy Carter was in the White House, and we had literally no money. Now, I don't mean we had an empty savings account, a bare-bones checking account, only enough cash at home for 'whatever' - I mean, on this particular day, we had nothing, no money at all.
We did however have 3 kids and it was dinner time. Now, I must alert you that before I was married, before I became a Christian, in my teens (and even younger) I was a thief . . . a very good thief who never got caught. So, when I told my wife that I was heading across the street to the grocery store, with no money, she was desperately concerned. I told her I didn't have a plan, that I didn't know what I was going to do or why I was heading toward the store, but assured her I was not going to steal anything. I just knew that we had no food and no money, but that we did have 3 hungry kids and there was food across the street - so it seemed, in some manner of reasoning, that I should go over there.
Now, I need to establish the set-up here; we lived in an old rented farmhouse on a major highway that was rapidly becoming more and more developed as retail corridor . . . most of the old farmers in the area had sold portions of their property and our little house was surrounded by shopping centers and fast food joints, etc. Right across the street from us was a large chain supermarket, so, as you left my house you had to walk across the highway and then across a giant parking lot to get to the store.
That day it was pouring rain, the kind of rain where big fat drops smack the ground with a splash. The street traffic was very sparse and the parking lot was empty until you got right up to the store front. I had to walk across a wide expanse of flat macadam, a barren man-made landscape with heavy rain pounding down on a hard, flat, and just then, a lonely terrain. Now remember, I was making this trek without a plan, but with the recognition that we needed food and there was food in that store - but, I had no money.
So, here's the punchline; just about halfway through the parking lot, in the middle of nothing around me but a vast flat macadam surface being drenched by a steady down pour of pounding rain, I look down and see a $5 dollar bill lying flat on the ground in front of me. I look all around and see no one in sight, and I bend down to pick it up - it's not just bone-dry, it's crisp, like a bank teller just handed me a never circulated bill from her drawer! Again, I look all around me, no one - it could not have been just dropped by anyone, it was lying on a sopping wet surface with rain beating down on it, and I'm not exaggerating - it was a brand new, crisp, bone-dry $5 dollar bill!
I found $5 on the way to a grocery store with no money but needing food, and in a most unusual, un-natural circumstance - I have always counted this an incident of God caring for us and intervening to provide for us. again, I'm not inclined to see things this way, but I see no other explanation for the circumstance I experienced. Of course, the real miracle was convincing my wife that the food I returned with was the result of magic money and not magic fingers . . .