Friday, January 10, 2014

Medical Miracles Are For All Of Us

By Marissa Velazquez

Medical miracles are common enough that most doctors have encountered them and many people can give an account of something that happened to them or someone they knew. Prayer is now an acknowledged part of treatment for many physicians; you even see it advertised on television. People who are ill often hope for supernatural intervention to restore them to health.

If good things happen that can't be explained in natural terms, the event qualifies as a miracle. There have been accounts of such things all through history, and modern technology makes it easier to document them. In the old days, leprosy disappearing, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, and paralyzed people walking were proof of supernatural intervention. Nowadays, a CAT scan that shows a tumor which disappears without treatment is considered conclusive validation.

Religious history is filled with the miraculous, usually in a religious context. The Christian heritage is filled with them. The best known include the Lazarus coming out of the tomb, the feeding of the five thousand, and the ten lepers. Christians still hope for and even expect miraculous events, which are a feature of many healing ministries.

Christians and Muslims see God's hand at work in every supernatural happening. Buddhist and New Agers look into their own being for the power to change the usual course of events. Meditation, prayer, charms, and dreams are all used to access supernatural power that can heal and restore.

Medical miracles are often disputed by those who do not believe. They cite the error potential of technology or say that misdiagnoses are common. However, both doctors and nurses often avow that things happen for which they have no other explanation than miraculous improvement. They believe in diagnostic machines enough to proceed with surgery and treatment, and are not prone to blame mechanical failure for the cases where disease disappears in a moment.

We enjoy the miraculous. We like true stories of a man who walks several blocks to the emergency room and calmly asks for help while a knife protrudes from his heart. We applaud when a man falls more than forty stories and lives to walk and talk again. We like tales of last-minute rescues and nick-of-time recovery. They speak to the hope in our hearts that endures even in the face of tragedy.

Explaining even the miraculous in natural terms satisfies some. They say that the body heals itself, that mind can triumph over matter, that people can rise above physical limitations when the need is great. They think people who call an unusual event a miracle are gullible. However, others see the hand of God in the wonders of the physical nature, in the harmony and order of the universe, and in surprises that defy natural laws.

All over the world, medical miracles continue as they have in the past. This can be a comfort and a joy to those affected and to those who hear these glad tidings.

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