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Miracle of miracles

August 2, 2012

A Megabus headed from Chicago to Kansas City crashed into a bridge in Illinois this afternoon, according to various news outlets, including KSHB, the local NBC affiliate in Kansas City. One person has been confirmed dead, and 38 are injured, according to the report.

I saw this report this afternoon and shook my head and wondered how these things happen, and shortly thereafter, I forgot about it. Then, I saw that a girl I knew in high school posted a link to the story on her Facebook page and said she was going to be on that Megabus to Kansas City this afternoon but decided to take a Greyhound instead.

That shook me.

I don’t think I knew anyone on the Megabus this afternoon, but that’s not the point of this post. I could be profound and say the seemingly smallest decision could change everything. I could be religious and say God works in mysterious ways. I could be gracious and thank the powers at be for looking out for my friend. I could be rational and say hopefully, this crash will change things so nothing like it happens again, especially because this is the seventh accident a Megabus vehicle has been involved in in the past two years, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

All good angles, but the perspective I choose to take on this is one with which my people (the Jewish people, that is) are quite familiar (just ask about the origins of Chanukah). I’m talking miracles, folks.

A lot of people don’t believe in miracles, and that’s fair. They’re rational and believe every action results in an equal and opposite reaction. There’s nothing wrong with that. I, however, totally believe miracles exist, for it was a miracle that my friend was not on that bus today.

Two years ago, I was a high school senior taking an independent study of French during study hall because French IV conflicted with newspaper scheduling-wise. It was quite the dilemma, until my teacher suggested I get tutored by the foreign exchange student who was fluent in the language and could help me understand the grammar and get better at speaking and comprehension. This was a truly excellent set-up, for I had no idea what I was doing and definitely needed the help.

So, the foreign exchange student helped me with my grammar exercises and whatnot, but she also helped me begin to understand another culture for the first time in my life. She taught me about life in her country, and she described in detail some of the experiences she had had the opportunity to be a part of as she traveled around the United States. I had an inside look at what it was like to be a foreigner in America, and it was eye-opening. It was far better than the typical French IV class, and I’m sure I learned way more about life that way.

Anyway, today, this girl who had an impact on my life is safe and sound. She is posting on Facebook and making plans with friends. She is continuing to leave her mark on this world, as she has always done. A miracle occurred today, for some unknown reason made her decide not to take that Megabus this afternoon. She is not done making a difference in the world quite yet.

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