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Iva’s Miracle
By Blanche Herring Scharf

     I am blessed. Truly. Iva lives next door. Not everyone would think living next door to a 96 year old woman would be a treat but they don’t know the wisdom of age.

     I go to visit and listen with wonder as Iva tells of things she’s seen and done. This is a woman with a quick wit and strong faith. She’s a Southern country woman. Born and raised in Deltaville, she never moved far from her homeplace. Her father was the captain of a bugeye and delivered produce to various ports from Deltaville. Her husband was a party-boat captain. That’s charter fishing for those not familiar with the term. 

     A widow for 20 years, Iva is the pioneer woman we’ve seen on TV. She still makes her own fire in the wood stove, cooks up her sausage and biscuits and fried apples, and laughs with vigor at the foibles of humans. She’s interested in world events and wonders at the activities of today’s society. Rarely caught without her makeup and dressed for company, Iva reminds her visitors of the value of stopping to chat.

     I mentioned strong faith. Iva also appreciates her daily miracles. She relishes the fact that she can just be thinking she’s hungry and in walks a friend with some food. She notices her miracles and how God provides. She says, “You know the difference between a miracle and a near death experience? God sends his angels to do miracles but in a near death experience he comes right down himself.”

     One morning last year, after Iva finished her grapefruit on the front porch on a warm summer day, she took a fall from the step. Tumbled right into her azalea. Its stiff pruned branches jabbed her in the leg, cutting her. Her head was thrust into her hydrangea bushes beyond. She could not right herself and she was alone. She prayed, “Dear Lord, you know I can’t do this without you. I can’t get up by myself. There’s no one here but me and you, Lord. Please help me. I’m counting on you to fix this.”

     Iva doesn’t remember rising from her predicament. She remembers the feeling. She was lifted up. The next thing she knew, she was standing back on her front step, blood running down her leg.

     Iva knows God came to her aid that day. When neighbors arrived, they assisted with a bandage and wanted to take her to the doctor. Iva insisted she was going to be all right. And so she is! Iva tells about her experience with wonder. She can’t figure out why else God is leaving her here but to profess his power and goodness. He answered her prayer. He lifted her up. Amen! 

© 2001 Blanche Herring Scharf. All Rights Reserved. 

Readers may contact Blanche H. Scharf via email blanche @oonl.com


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