The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
I left work early today. I had an important event to attend. Youngest son graduated from Fire Academy this afternoon. He was reluctant to go, but being a persuasive mom, I convinced him to particiapte. To be honest, I ordered him to attend. But, it wasn’t all that hard. I think he really wanted to go, but was being coy. He may have rethought that decision after both husband and I and all the grandparents as well as his “adopted sister” and girlfriend showed up to as well. Looking around, I was amazed at how many people missed work or set aside other obligations to attend. We weren’t the only ones taking up a whole row. Other families realized the importance of the event, and the room was crowded. The graduates marched in single file all in dress clothes, ties and some suit coats. They shifted uncomfortably in their seats facing the room. Three young women and the rest men ranged in age from eighteen to forty five. Our son was the youngest in his class. They were the elite. The twenty-five percent who passed all the tests and made it to every class. The speakers talked about the importance of their future work. How they would be called to risk their lives to save others. How their chosen career was a helping profession. It wouldn’t be about the awards or medals, the letters of commendation or the paychecks, but the ability to assist others in times of need. Then, each cadet was called forward one by one and introduced by “Firefighter” followed by their last name. We cheered and applauded for each, but the noise was higher on our row when our own Firefighter went forward. Every family had something to celebrate, but I suspect none more than ours. Unless you had walked through the last ten years with us, you cannot know what a miracle has occurred. A once sullen, angry boy entered high school and emerged a determined, compassionate young man. Now, he is ready to step forward into a life where he will excel because he loves his work and “just wants to help people.” I cried as I took shaky out of focus pictures. They did not come out well, but that’s okay. I will hold the image of today fast in my mind. As well as the still small Voice that reminds me over and over of the miracle that God has done. I am firmly convinced that there is a God and He is all powerful and good. All I have to do to know it is true is to look at my son. When God decided to reveal Himself to man, He could have done it through a whirlwind or an earthquake. A fire or a shout. Instead, He spoke through a tiny baby’s cry as His Son entered this world to show us God’s image in a form we could understand.