The Printer

By Anne Chapman

How large or small is a miracle?  The Bible is full of them from cover to cover.  What is the definition of a Miracle? Webster’s Dictionary defines it this way:  


“An unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God.  An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”


The Lord is generous with His miracles over the course of our lives; however, some may seem so small or insignificant we miss them, or maybe we simply call the event a coincidence, or even brush it off with another explanation.  The following story is about an event that happened to me five years ago. I was in trouble, and He stepped in!


As some of you have witnessed, I am not a “tech” person.  Technical and mechanical things are tasks I tend to resist, even simple ones.  My husband was very ill and we knew he would only be here for another week or two.  I had been typing up some of our final plans when it happened. The printer jammed. Skip could have fixed it in a flash, but he was too sick to get up and tend to it.  I stared at the printer in disbelief – why now? Well, I’ll just try to pull out the jammed paper and not disturb him, I thought. We had two printers. On one, the paper had to be pulled out from the front and the other from the back or terrible things could happen.  I couldn’t remember which was which but could see the edge of the jammed paper hiding inside. What would it hurt just to give it a little tug? The little tug turned out to be a nightmare! Now it was sticking out and up at a formidable angle, and even more hopelessly stuck.  


I had to confess what I’d done.  I had pulled it from the wrong direction which could cause damage to the internal working parts.  He offered to tell me how to try to remedy the situation and not cause further damage but I wouldn’t listen – too distracted with our situation to try to concentrate on some technical thing I couldn’t stand to do to begin with.  The paper loomed ominously there for over a week while Skip made numerous offers to teach me, but I still wouldn’t listen.  


Now “I” was the one who was really stuck, sitting alone at the computer typing up my testimony to my wonderful husband in preparation for the funeral service.  We have no family and at the time, I had not come back to the church. There was no one I could think of at all to help me and I needed to print up the testimony as the service was approaching.  Meanwhile, I had simply ripped the paper out, knowing I was ruining something by pulling from the wrong direction, but I couldn’t stand the way it looked any longer. Hitting the print key only brought up the words “Paper jam”  A reminder of how stupid I had been.


Total hopelessness now set in.  In desperation, I looked up and said, “Dear God – this is hopeless.  I need to print this document. I’ve made a mess of things and don’t know what to do.  Please help me!” I sat there looking at the screen, not touching anything, and not knowing what to expect.


Suddenly, a prompt appeared on the screen!  “Do you want to clean the heads?” Why not, I thought, it isn’t working now anyway, so I pressed ok.  Click, click, whish, whish and after some time it was silent. Then another prompt came on. “Do you want to align the cartridge?”  Again, why not – ok. Swish, swish, zoom, zoom, and then silence. I sat there staring at the screen for a few seconds when a third message appeared.  “Ready to Print.”


The Lord is Good and Faithful.  It had been Him – and only Him – who had sent the messages and repaired the printer.  It had been Him – and only Him – who had rescued one of His stubborn children.


“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”  Psalm 77:14.