I read a story in the newspaper this morning about a (former) patient in the hospital where I work. She was treated for a highly aggressive form of melanoma. Her prognosis was extremely bleak. She had three large tumors that did not respond to chemotherapy and only weeks after surgically removing them, they grew back. Her physician prescribed an even more aggressive treatment protocol. In the midst of this, while in the hospital, she received a visit from an unknown individual who simply asked if he could pray with her. She described her visitor in brilliant, gleaming terms and spoke of a profound feeling of peace and assurance during and after his visit. The identity of the visitor is not known to anyone.
She has been cancer free for two years now. Her recovery is miraculous. It makes me catch my breath in awe.
I work in a place where the investigation of cellular science is of the most vital importance to make discoveries that lead to better approaches for the treatment of cancer. Science.
Where is prayer in the equation?
Actually, it’s all around.
Chaplains make the rounds here constantly. In pre-op. Inpatient rooms. Infusion clinics. Staff members participate in prayer circles. Many, many of the employees in this institution have a strong connection to their faith. We pray for strength, for peace, for relief, for each other.
My struggle with faith boils down to this conundrum: two patients who both pray, one recovers and one dies. Did the one who died not pray quite right? Did God somehow favor the one who recovered more? How could this be part of the grand design?
Or is it random?
Random is the more scientific answer. Being a person who values my connection with God, it surprises me when I choose random. But I do.
Miracle? Absolutely. A random miracle.