One shouldn’t use the word “miraculous” casually. Within the natural order, many strange coincidences occur: the unexpected and the unlikely happen often enough but they still cause wonder. People of faith know that God our Father is the great choreographer in the dance of the universe. And we are in Israel, the land of many miracles, including the resurrection of Jesus, who was dead and in the grave and is alive forever more. So I will describe for you what happened and you can tell me what you think.
The student conference was over – it had been intense. As you would expect! Israel is a land of profound ethnic, religious and historic divisions. Students from many shades of belief and unbelief had gathered in the firm conviction that God’s love is for all people. The unity in diversity had been powerful. Now they had scattered back to their universities and families.
We – the thirteen Canadians – were exhausted and happy to have an evening to de-brief and rejoice. Dom announced that she was feeling unwell. Something she ate? Over-tiredness? A flu bug? She grew worse and took to her bed. The big danger in such a hot climate is de-hydration and she could not keep anything down.
At 3:30 am Ian decided to take her to the hospital and set off immediately, not sure where to find a hospital in nearby Tel Aviv. The roads were very dark and very deserted. Ian pulled into a gas station, uncertain if anyone would be there. Suddenly, a man appeared – he had been putting air in his tires and Ian asked the way to the hospital. The man replied in English, “I am a doctor. Can I help you?” Really? A doctor? On an empty country road at 3am? Even, as a final twist of humour and assurance from God, the angel-like doctor was a Canadian from Montreal now living in Israel!
After careful questioning, he recommended that they not go to the hospital. “They have much more urgent cases. Give her lots of water and she should be fine soon.” Back to bed for Dom. Back to much needed sleep for Ian. All around relief. And great thanksgiving to God. The doctor was right. Three more people had this slight flu and all recovered quickly. We went on our way rejoicing.