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Peter J. Oszmann

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Christmas Miracles.
By Peter J. Oszmann
Posted: Saturday, December 20, 2008
Last edited: Saturday, December 20, 2008
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Peter J. Oszmann
· Stories about my childhood, my Mother and her family.
· The Butterfly Effect (Repost) Revised
· A living, breathing abstract art…- (Satire)
· The Anniversary.
· Traces In The Air - A story of Meaningful Coincidences.
· A Bar of Chocolate… and a Smile…
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           >> View all 28
Christmas miracles?... What is a miracle?


A miracle is defined as a supernatural event and by this very definition, it cannot happen. Science does not allow us to believe in, or accept the Supernatural. Everything has a natural or scientific explanation, so are we to believe. Therefore whenever we are confronted by an unexpected and seemingly inexplicable phenomenon or event, we must first try to apply rational scientific explanation and when we are unsuccessful in our attempt, we are reprimanded and told that the event or phenomenon was indeed caused by some rationally explicable force, only at the moment we cannot necessarily explain what force, or the nature of the event… but we are working on it…


The Universe was not created by a supernatural being or force; it came into existence by a mighty explosion, a big bang, even though science can offer no logical explanation about what made the explosion occur. After all an explosion requires some space and matter to initiate it. Out of nothing, only nothing can occur, not an explosion… Yet, science wants to make us believe that an explosion created a vast space that constantly expands, together with all the material within that space. An interesting theory, supported by most scientists, quoting the most fantastic, complicated and ever changing mathematical models and even more fantastic and complicated experiments, employing newly invented massive and complex instrumentation, costing billions and billions of dollars.


I am not against science and scientific approach in studying all events and phenomena, but I am ready to stick my neck out and advise caution in believing everything scientists are at a pain to explain. I would also remind them that, when approaching phenomena which is difficult to explain, a little application of Occam’s Razor, which roughly states that “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best”, would not go ammiss. Why spend millions of dollars trying to explain the inexplicable, when it will make no difference at all and why not just simply accept that there are things beyond our knowledge and ability. What is so wrong with accepting the “Supernatural” anyway?


In that spirit, let me relate a true story that I never told to anyone before. I am not going to claim that I witnessed a miracle or something supernatural,  but it turned out to be an event that gave me a “good feeling” and stayed in my memory ever since.


It is not very often that we have a white Christmas in the Greater London area.

It was back in the late sixties, or early seventies, when we had something like a minor blizzard on the evening of Christmas Day. The day’s celebrations were over, the kids were already in bed and it was left to me to take the dog out for a last walk. We lived on a busy main road in a bigish house, that was built in an elevated position above the road. No more than about 30 - 40 yards from our house there was a quiet side street, leading uphill to a large park, where I usually took the dog for a walk and run.

It was quite late in the evening, snowing heavily, and the main road was empty of traffic. In those days, on Christmas Day, all public transport services were suspended and with the snow settling on the ground there were no pedestrians to be seen anywhere nearby either. I was heading towards the side street with the intention of going up to the park, the dog – off leash – obediently walking at heel.

As I turned the corner I noticed a solitary small car parked – front pointing towards the main road – on the “wrong side” of the street, just a couple of yards from the junction with the main road. The snow was settling on the car, the windshield was covered and at first glance the car looked empty and abandoned. It caught my attention, because of its position, being too near to the main road and on the wrong side. As I got level with the front door, I noticed that an elderly man was sitting behind the steering wheel. As I bent down slightly to check through the window if he was alright, I noticed an elderly lady sitting on the front passenger seat next to him.

There was no ligh in the car, the engine was not running and I sensed that something was not quite right; two elderly people would not be expected to be sitting in a stationery vehicle this late, and in the cold, in a deserted street, unless there was some problem.


I politely knocked on the window, to attract their attention. The dog, a well trained and well behaved Alsatian, was already sitting by the car on the snow covered grass verge of the pavement.


The man wound down the window and I asked him if there was anything wrong. He said that initially they were parked further up the hill and could not start the car. He therefore decided to try freewheeling down the hill in order to try starting the car by suddenly engaging the gear, but the attempt failed and they are stuck. They were looking for a telephone kiosk, but the telephone was out of order and they didn’t know what to do next, so they just sat back waiting in the car, hoping that someone would turn up and they could ask for help.


Well, I turned up with the dog. Not a great deal of help, I thought, because the dog certainly knew nothing about cars and I was no mechanic either. However, since there was nothing and nobody else around, I felt duty bound at least to try and offer help.


Let’s see what did I know about cars? I had a car, I knew how to drive it. I also knew how to check the oil, water and the battery level, how to check the fan belt and, at a stretch, I would also be able to change a wheel if needed. Oh, yes! I knew another trick, someone taught me. In those days cars were more “mechanical”. Electronics, computers and motherboards were certainly not in fashion yet, as far as cars were concerned. Most cars were not fitted with immobilising devices against car theft, and there was a useful trick shown to me, how to remove the rotor arm from the distributor, in order to make sure that no one unauthorised could start up the car. But how useful would that be in this case – I wondered. The man assured me that his car was not fitted with an immobiliser.


I opened the bonet and looked around not realy knowing what to look for or what to do. Checked the battery lead, checked the distributor and asked the man to try and start up. Nothing happened. All seemed totally dead.

I don’t know why – I am not a religious man – I murmured a quiet prayer trying to persuade the Almighty, that on the evening of Christmas day, with snow falling, it was not nice to let two elderly people freeze to death in a car that refused to start. I thought a small miracle would not be entirely out of order. I looked at the engine again pleadingly, fiddled with something aimlessly and asked the man to try again. He obliged… and lo behold… the damned thing started happily. I think I was more stunned and surprised than they were. They certainly did not know that I prayed, and I certainly did not know what made the car start all of a sudden. I shut the bonnet and smiled at them.


The way they looked at me I was almost ready to believe that I suddenly grew wings and had a halo around my head. They thanked me and drove away happily.

The dog looked at me as if asking “Can we go now and have a walk?”

I had a pleasantly warm feeling inside me. It was a good feeling to know, that a night like that, and on a quiet but significant day of the year, by some minor and inexplicable miracle I was able to help two elderly people in distress.


We – the dog and I – went for a brief, pleasant walk in the snow and then returned home, feeling satisfied. I never mentioned the event to anyone. What could have I said, without sounding big headed and knowing damned well that whatever happened had nothing to do with my intervention? I’m no miracle worker, though it would be nice to know, that in some way I was instrumental in an event, that could, with a stretch of imagination, be called a minor miracle. The event stayed so clear in my memory that I can still visualise almost every detail. That - in itself, considering my advanced years and many far more momentous events since – is a small miracle.

Why would I remember so clearly about an almost insignificant, mundane event that happened something like forty years earlier?


Are there miracles? What is a miracle? Life is a miracle, when you think about it.

Inexplicable how inorganic substances turned into organic substances, congregated, divided, reconstituted and turned into a life form, developed and turned into human beings, capable of abstract thinking and creating a variety of objects that create miraculos effects. The wheel, electricity, the car, radio, television, computers, electronics and many other gadgets are all miracles, created by humans who grew out of and developed from inorganic dead material. Can we logically deny some supernatural power that moves in misterious ways making it all possible to happen?

Many scientists would argue that it is all natural and perfectly explicable. Others are not so sure. I keep an open mind.


Since that snowy Christmas night, so many years ago, many life changing events happened in my life and generally in the world. Man walked on the moon. In New York two commercial airliners full of passengers crashed deliberately into two high rise buildings, demolishing both, creating carnage and mayhem. A tidal wave not so many years back in Asia created carnage, destruction and mayhem. The two events were not connected, but in both events there were miraculous escapes and survival against all odds.


The last eighteen years of my life were full of extremely stressfull events. Events that – by their nature – would make that Christmas night’s events look totally insignificant, to such degree that it would be wiped out of my memory. We don’t recall everything we experience through a lifetime. We, generally, tend to recall traumatic events better than happy moments. Why do I remember two elderly strangers in a car that refused to start, until I arrived on the stage and inadvertantly touched something that made it come to life. I have no answer. No matter how hard scientists are trying to prove that everything is explicable, we simply do not have the answer to many riddles of nature.


I prayed more fervently for a miracle, while my wife battled against cancer. I prayed every day, every night. No miracles were granted. I had to watch helplessly her fading away. I lost her and I gave up on miracles. The pain of losing her hardly faded. In many ways it rather intensified recently. It is getting near Christmas again… I cannot stop thinking about her, my mind - like a demented video player - keeps replaying all the painful events. Amidst the discomfort and heatache of the painful memories I recall a pleasant event that gave me a warm feeling on a snowy Christmas nigh some forty years ago. A simple nursery rhyme echoes in my mind:


-  “…and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, could not put Humpty together again…” –


I am Humpty… my life is Humpty… nothing can put things back together again, my life will never be the same again… I lost the most precious gift that life gave me on loan…There is no miracle that can give that gift back again to me… This Christmas, and at any future Christmases, no matter where I will be and who I will be with – members of family, friends, in a crowd of people – I will be alone… Yet…there is an inexplicable, almost stubborn feeling inside me, telling me that somehow, she is with me, aware of my pain, watching me helplessly as I struggle with memories and my emotional turmoil, knowing that the time is getting near when I will enter that undefinable realm, where she is waiting for my arrival… It is not an irrational belief, I am neither irrational, nor a “believer”… It feels more like a gut feeling, a stubborn arcane knowledge… akin to a feeling of love, that only those who feel it know that it is more real than life itself…


So, what is a miracle? Is there such a thing as a miracle?... Do miracles happen at Christmas, or at any other time?... You tell me…



© P. J. Oszmann (December 2008)

© Illustration created in Photoshop (2006)


Web Site: Jew Be or Not Jew Be  

Reader Reviews for "Christmas Miracles."

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Reviewed by John Domino 4/30/2009
Life itself is a miracle.

Praise Jesus!
Reviewed by michelle noble 12/21/2008
miracels happen constinly. i dont think iv had any real miracels happen to me but to of emt a man who became my friend when i most needed one. he showed me the world is not as evil as i though ti was. and then he went away never to be heard from again. i belive in a way he was my miracle cuse i needed to see goodness in humans to love and he showed me this. but there are many other miracles that happen. people who survived when the pentagon was hit and such there are more and they happen all the time. why i dont know. only god knows.but i think you had yourself a miracle and i belive your wife looks over you and you will join her one day. thank you for your heartwarming tale
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 12/20/2008
Are there such things as Miracles, Peter?? YES!! I answer the question this way because the fact that Karla and I are still here after being born three months early back in 1959 is a miracle. Every day we wake up breathing is a miracle, and we thank God for every day we have on this earth! And He's provided for our needs just when we seemed to need His help the most! So I answer your question with a resounding YES!! :)

Excellent write, Peter; very well penned! BRAVO!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in America, Karen Lynn in Texas. :D
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/20/2008
Every breath you take, every heartbeat of life is a miracle. Every birth is one. Every thing you see in Nature is, as well. Are there such things as miracles? ABSOLUTELY. I'll tell you why: when my twin sister and I were born three months early, at 2 pounds (me) and a pound and a half, doctors said I'd have maybe a slight chance of making it, Karen had none at all. Doctors wrote us off. God didn't, by His Grace, we're here, forty nine years later. Miracles? You bet. :)

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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