"Miracle on the Hudson: 155 survive crash as jet hits river in New York. Pilot of US Airways plane avoids disaster and saves lives of 155 people after engine catches fire due to suspected bird strike”
“The pilot of a US Airways jet managed to avoid disaster and save the lives of all 155 people on board his stricken plane when he ditched into the icy waters of the Hudson river moments after taking off from New York's LaGuardia airport. The extraordinary escape was immediately dubbed the miracle on the Hudson…”
(Ed Pilkington in New York guardian.co.uk, Friday16 January 2009 02.14 GMT)
The pilot has been named a hero for his calm actions during a dire situation which could have resulted in the loss of many lives. The Governor of New York, David Paterson said, “We have had a miracle on 43rd street and now we have a miracle on The Hudson.” Many would agree that this incident is a clear example of a modern day miracle. What is a miracle?
According to the Online Encyclopaedia Britannica a miracle is "an extraordinary and astonishing happening that is attributed to the presence and action of an ultimate or divine power".
In the Bible every time the word miracle is mentioned it refers to Divine Intervention and reminds us that God is ever present.
I came across an account by Suzanne Lamarche on Global Psychics
She tells a story that started on the highway. She was driving home from a weekend away and encountered a young man driving a black Neon. She also drove a Neon and both had a little fun playing car tag for quite a while until he turned into a side road.
When the young man returned home and was unpacking his car he noticed Suzanne driving past and realized that she lived in a building nearby who happened to share the same parking garage as his. Taken by her he later took a chance and left a note on her car. Upon her return to her vehicle the next morning Suzanne found the note and consequently they met for a drink that evening.
The fact that they came together on the highway and happened to live close to each other was amazing enough but they soon learnt about other similarities.
They came from the same town and their parents still lived there. Both had large families and each had an adopted sibling, an older sister obtaining University Masters and a brother who was a chef.
After a year of dating Suzanne found another note on her car windshield. This one invited her to dinner. There he proposed and the rest is history.
This tale could have been included with my other examples in Destiny-Coincidence Or Fate? One may wonder whether fate, coincidences and miracles originate from a Divine Hand; the same Hand that guided Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger to heroically glide his plane on to the Hudson River off Midtown Manhattan.
On March 27, 2007 Laticia Gibson reported on Australia’s current affair show Today Tonight, “After a 17-year-old boy died, oil began seeping through his bedroom walls and ash appeared on the floor. Some now believe he was a messenger of God”
Crowds gathered outside a suburban home in Sydney all hoping to be touched by the hand of God through the mysterious oil seeping through 17-year-old Michael Tannous’ bedroom walls; he died in car crash five months prior.
Forty days after the boy’s death his parents George and Lina noticed a line of oil appear on his bedroom wall; this was followed by the strange smell of roses in the home. They believed the deliverer was their dead son Mike. The line of oil spread across the wall and coal coloured ash inexplicably began materialising from thin air
Mike’s parents were convinced that it was a sign their son was still alive.
According to Mr and Mrs Tannous, Mike’s initials and a cross appeared on a ceiling in the house along with an image of Jesus.
People seeking healing made pilgrimages to the small home and lined up for hours waiting to get inside. Twelve year old Elana Ibiahim claimed her crippling joint pain was healed by the sweet smelling oil emanating from the walls in Mike’s room. "I was sick, I had joint problems and they kept swelling up," Elana said." I couldn't kneel and sometimes I was unable to write because of them. I put it on the first day and since then - all my pain is gone”
At the time this was reported 3,500 people received the free gift of a cotton bud soaked in the holy oil as they entered the house.
Local Catholic priest, Father Michael Melhen said that although he could not speak on behalf of the Catholic Church he was amazed by what he witnessed in the Tannous household.
It is said that Mike may have predicted his own death with rough illustrations and poems describing the afterlife including a gate which bore an uncanny resemblance to the seeping oil.
The Tannous family apparently did not accept any payments from anyone visiting their home. They shared the conviction that God hand-picked Mike from birth.
There are many who believe this to be a true miracle from God as well as many who are dubious such as Peter Bowditch from Australian Skeptics. He said that for a miracle to be true, it has to have scientific evidence to back it up. ”To become excited about it, you have to be a true believer," Mr Bowditch said on Today Tonight, "That is, you have to be someone who is immersed totally in some form in faith.” I am of the opinion that the lack of scientific evidence is what makes an unexplained incident a miracle.
Reports of such occurrences have captivated us for centuries. Paranormal activity is sometimes called religious pareidolia. It ranges from visions to images of Jesus on tortillas! Here in Perth, Western Australia a statue of the Madonna allegedly bled tears of oil.
According to the Bible, miracles are God’s way to interact with earthly people. They have been known to teach or represent God’s presence. Through miracles Jesus declared His authority over mankind and authenticated His identity as the Son of God.
I have my own personal accounts of miracles, perhaps not as grand as oil dripping from walls but magical all the same.
My husband and I tried to conceive a baby for almost six years, attempted fertility treatments and exploratory surgeries all to no avail until one day late in 1999 I threw my hands up in the air and amongst my tears I prayed, “I have had enough, I cannot do this any longer. If a baby is not for me then so be it, but please God take the longing away, I just want to be happy.”
I focussed on my partner and my pets from that day onwards. We moved house and for the first time in years I felt a sense of peace. Exactly one month later a doctor’s visit revealed the unexpected; I was pregnant! The result, nine months later, was Kayla Michelle a beautiful blue eyed baby girl. Apologies to the sceptics but if that is not a miracle…what is?
There have been so many incidents in my life that I can call gifts from God, from the way I attained my beloved cats to the Divine Help we received when buying our first home at a time when we had absolutely no money. Many may call these mere coincidences, but that is my point; is there such a thing as a coincidence? Is the power of Faith and Prayer so great that miraculous events can enter our lives? I am wondering … perhaps that may be what life is all about.