“Advertise Miracles” – that’s the Hanukah mission statement. ‘Tis the season to make some noise about how G!d is really the One running the show.
In that spirit, I want to add a few stories to the holiday advertisement.
First off, though, a definition. A miracle according to Merriam-Webster is: “An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”.
I happen to believe that the Divine is guiding all our affairs…but we’re talking about those EXTRA-ordinary outstanding affairs that put the mundane to shame. Those big blasting life-enhancing messages of Yes G!d-is-in-charge-here so take a glimpse and don’t ever forget it.
For me these glimpses often come down in the form of dreams. Miracle dreams. Dreams that reveal divine intervention in human affairs.
That is to say, dreams that actually come true.
And I’ve been graced with a few. (Perhaps you have too?)
Remarkably, mine seem to have had a theme. Most notably, plane crashes. We’re talking large-scale news-breaking plane crashes.
Let’s start with the first. It was the 21st of December, 1988. I was 14 years-old.
(Side-note: As I am writing this I see – shockingly – that the date of this dream is exactly 26 years ago to the day. How’s that for a small miracle?!)
I see that there is a plane flying from London to New York. I witness it explode and crash down to the ground. I am worried because my good friend Lindsey is vacationing in London. I feel a wave of concern that she and her family are on the plane. – And poof, I wake up.
What happened next was particularly striking. I can still remember the feeling in my bones – it was this peculiar sense that I was moving via remote control. My eyes snapped open and I popped straight up. Robot-like, I stood and walked – directly, pointedly and without thought – down the hall to my parent’s bedroom. I went straight to the TV. Sat myself down and clicked “on”.
Lo-and-behold there it was. The breaking breath-taking news on NBC. I didn’t even need to flip the channel. It was all there in front of me. Materializing on my parent’s 20-inch screen in Memphis, Tennessee.
I watched hypnotically as the nightmare unrolled in real life. Only this time it was fleshed out with details. Pan Am flight 103. Flying from London Heathrow Airport to New York JFK. Crashing down in Lockerbie, Scotland.
Lindsey, thankfully, was not on the plane, but 260 people were. And another 11 Scots killed on the ground.
This was one of the deadliest acts of terror that had ever occurred. With 189 Americans killed, it was the largest terror attack the US had ever known. This was the Lockerbie plane crash. And it was world-captivating news.
But not for me.
I had just turned 14. I didn’t know from prophetic dreams. I had zero interest in G!d or world events. I was on holiday break. I just wanted to hang out with my friends. I told no one about this inexplicable experience. I simply stored the whole unsettling event away in the vaults of my memory.
But I watched – quietly – as over the years there was a dream here, a prescient knowing there. Small hushed glimpses of some vast Force moving the game pieces…my game pieces…the world’s game pieces.
Now I can imagine that a story about foreseeing the Lockerbie tragedy might be a particularly disturbing example of witnessing G!d’s hand in the world. And I get that. The main point, though, for me, was more about the sudden download of otherwise unknowable information — straight into my 14-year old consciousness. That was the miracle for me. That uncanny felt sense of being moved from on high, as if bidden, guided, propelled.
It was this striking sensation of dangling by the strings of a benevolent cosmic puppeteer. Even as the facts on the ground were tragic, the experience was somehow comforting. I found that seeing divine intervention – even, and especially, in the dark moments – brings its own unique comfort.
Thankfully there were rosier moments of divine glimpses to come. Happier ones, helpful ones, utterly Illuminating ones.
Ones like that summer afternoon in ’89 when I again had that sense of being moving via remote control. I was struck by a deep compulsion to get up, walk myself to the bathroom, brush my hair and put on lip gloss. I then robotically positioned myself at the living-room window, peering directly on to the street. Sure enough, within 45 seconds a small caravan of cars pull in to our quiet cove. I watched, with shock, as my friends poured out of the cars, whispering and shushing each other as they snuck up furtively to our door. All to surprise me with a stealth pick-up to go get soft-serve ice-cream.
It wasn’t much of a surprise of course…what with my remote control G!d force and all.
It was apparently more important that I should have my hair brushed just right. And more important than that, that I should be learning that I can have a direct wireless connection to a divine message center…and that it can come in handy. Particularly when you’re 15 and want your lip-gloss properly applied just in the nick of time.
Thankfully, as I matured the dreams and visions did too. They continued into more significant themes, replete with decipherable messages and deep with meaning.
Like that precious unforgettable dream foreseeing the day that my grandfather would pass away – 6 months before it was to occur. The dream revealed the date of death and the exact constellation of people who would be present at the funeral. Thus giving me 6 solid months to prepare for the inevitable loss.
Or the many dreams of seeing the sex of unborn babies in the bellies of friends and family. Or more recent dreams about my therapy clients. Dreams that guide me in how best to treat them. Giving me invaluable, otherwise unattainable, information about what is going on deep in the unconscious.
I have seen time and again how sleep can be our greatest classroom. And how G!d is the master Instructor and essential Mover of all realities.
I still don’t know why I was given that prescient vision of Lockerbie. Don’t know what, if anything, it had to do with me. – Perhaps it was because the explosion was rumored to be performed by Palestinians, a passive attack on what would later become my beloved Israel. Or perhaps it was that my friend was there and so I was psychically tuned-in with concern.
Or perhaps it was just to give my teenage-self a good dose of spiritual instruction. To attune me early-on to the fact that dreams are serious pathways for the revelation of otherwise hidden knowledge of the way G!d runs things.
Whatever the case may be, I treasure the earth-shaking clarity of these experiences. They are my own miraculous glimpses of divine intervention and they sustain me in times of darkness & confusion. After all, isn’t it in those darkest of moments when we most need to see the divine in things?
Not only that, but it is in the dark that we can sometimes BEST see the divine in things.
In addition to it being Hannukah, today is also the winter solstice. Just as it was on the day of the Lockerbie Tragedy of 1988. It is the darkest day of the year. It is also an immense & ironic opportunity for vision.
This is the time to tend well to our night-visions and reap the wisdom that comes uniquely in the darkness.
So this Hannukah, in the light of our little candles, may we share our miracle stories. May we celebrate the divine hand that dances us all forward so magnificently.
May we advertise well the miracles that we have seen. And may we ourselves be walking miracles – where the highest divine touches down into the deepest and even darkest of worldly realities.