Roger Marolt: Roger This
Aspen CO Colorado
If a miracle happened, would you tell anyone? If it’s a hypothetical question, the answer is simple. In reality it’s a lot tougher. You might think I am crazy, and this causes me fear, there’s no question about it. I feel compelled to tell you, anyway.
I had back surgery in early March. It was a simple procedure to ease intense pain from a ruptured disc leaking out and strangling a nerve. The surgery was a success, the intense pain gone almost immediately. Only a nagging tingle in my left thigh and numbness in my shin remained. Days passed, the tingling progressed into what felt like an electric current, and my shin became hypersensitive, as if the skin had been stripped off. I convinced myself that it was a positive, evidence that the nerve was coming back to life.
In a follow-up visit, my doctor laid it out. The symptoms were indicative of permanent nerve damage. I had to get off the opiates because addiction to them was not a long-term solution. We would figure it out. He wrote a prescription for an anti-seizure medicine to start with – long list of potential serious side-effects included.
I was scared of all of this for the rest of my life. I talked myself into letting my brain try to override the pain. The result was three nearly completely sleepless weeks of misery with no progress. I prayed rosaries at night hoping the meditation would put me under. Some nights I finished a dozen with no relief.
I succumbed. I could stand no more. I took the prescription to Carl’s, planning to pick it up on my way home. I called my old family doctor. He reassured me and called in something that was safer to try first. I went by the pharmacy that evening, but it was so busy that I decided to come back in the morning. One more sleepless night wasn’t going to matter.
That night was miserable, maybe the worst. At 3:30 a.m. I hadn’t slept a wink. I had roamed the house like a ghost all night, looking for relief and finding it nowhere. In utter despair and tears, I lay down and said a very short prayer: “Lord, I don’t understand this, but thank you for being with me.”
A vivid image filled my mind. It wasn’t something I conjured. I saw myself asleep in his hand! In the next moment, the alarm clock was waking me. I had slept deeply for the first time in weeks! Then I realized that the pain in my leg was gone. Completely!
Having that pain disappear so suddenly with that vision overwhelmed me in many ways. Was I grateful? Yes, beyond my ability to express it. Did I deserve it? No, beyond my ability to admit it. Can I possibly live up to receiving such a gift? Only when I firmly remind myself that he did this fully knowing my deep inherent deficiencies, far more than I know them myself. Was I skeptical? Absolutely. At times I was literally afraid to move, believing that the onslaught of misery was poised to return. At times I was frightened that lack of faith might bring the pain back.
But it is remarkable we can pass off as humility that which is actually something entirely different. The underlying assumption I was basing my soul-searching on was that God had given me preferential treatment. It’s not a far stretch from there to assume that he must love me more.
It was an egregious error in thinking, and here is where true humility sets in. God was not treating me better. He was only treating me differently. I knew this, but it hadn’t registered. Throughout every struggle, pain and sadness in my life, he has answered my prayers, albeit much less obviously and almost never in the way I expected. I can look back and recognize the blessings and grace that came from him through the suffering. I believe this to be universal. God does not love me more than anyone else. His love is infinite and envelops all of us beyond imagination or understanding. I know that I am not finished suffering in this life. That’s part of being human. We can’t get close to him without it. But – and this is huge – I know he will carry me through it.
Why did I decide to tell you about this? I think it is important that you know with all certainty that there is one more person on this planet who believes completely in the immeasurable compassion, love, power and grace of God. That’s all.
Roger Marolt believes this was a miracle because there is no explanation that makes more sense to him than that. Contact him at email@example.com.
Just before the snow and frigid temperatures hit, I love wearing fall clothing and boots. And, these items can get you through the deep winter, as well.