Dave Akerly replies
The first headline was awesome and amazing:
Mysterious priest miraculously appears, disappears at crash scene
Everyone began to wonder. Was it really a priest or was it an angel? How he had come and gone was unknown and the prayer and anointing he offered seemed to bring peace to the situation.
Then came the answer in another headline:
Mystery priest in Missouri rescue comes forward
The priest was in fact a priest, Father Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City. He had come, parked, walked over, talked to the sheriff, prayed with the girl, and then left.
Oh, since the story was reported on so much due to the angel angle, I suppose the news agencies will report that the priest was in fact was a real priest. But what if there had never been any question about it? What if the rescue workers knew the priest personally right away? Would any have ever heard of his involvement?
I doubt it. That seems all too ordinary. And yet, we must be reminded from this story how God works almost every time he works. He works through means. Can God do miracles? Absolutely. Does he send angels? Of course. But is it any less amazing and miraculous when he sends a priest who happened to be driving by? No.
God does his work almost always through normal means. Pastors, words, water, bread, and wine. Teachers, farmers, trash men, etc. And when he works through means, we should be just as excited and thankful as when he in that rare case does something without earthly means.
Everybody wants an angel. They got a priest. Actually what they got was God’s mercy in the midst of a mess. And that is worthy of much praise directed heavenward.
The story is no less amazing. Not so sure his proximity was any coincidence.