Growing as a Leader

Visiting a Miracle

Have you ever had the opportunity to talk with someone who has just experienced a true life saving miracle?

Denise and I did this past Sunday when we met with Heather and Jeff Perry in a Starbucks in Carmel, IN. In October Heather was in a coma lying in a hospital ICU as medical staff worked to figure out why her body was shutting down.

The Perry’s literally stood toe to toe with death but God rescued Heather through miracle upon miracle (I won’t share Heather’s story, it’ll be her privilege to do so one day). As Jeff and Heather shared their story and their incredible faith in Christ as well as the faith of family, friends and acquaintances, for a moment, that table in Starbucks became holy ground.

As we talked we began to discuss two questions which I’m continuing to wrestle with.

The first question’s simply “how do people come toe to toe with death, staring it right in the face, without believing in or having a relationship with God?” Maybe I’m just weak but I can’t fathom it. Not because I’m particularly afraid of death but because without God neither death or life has any meaning. As Francis Schaeffer once said, “without God we’re just time + chance + matter.”

The follow-up question is “how does a person come toe to toe with death and then walk away doing so without believing in God?” Trying to answer the existential and metaphysical questions that would naturally arise from having a near death experience would drive me crazy without the foundational knowledge of God.

Yet the overriding feelings Denise and I had as we left the Perry’s was simply a deep gratitude for God’s graciousness and awe of His mighty power in Heather and Jeff’s life. We accepted it as an early and beautiful Christmas gift.


  • Jenny Weinberg

    you know Michael, in response to your question about coming face to face with death my only comment is Hard heart!! My experience as a hospice nurse compels me to seek the Lord while he may be found…. The longer you harden your heart to God it seems as if it is “easier” if that is the word, to continue moving in that direction with no recognition that you even need HIM…I agree this is a scary place to be. I come home after some days and say to my family, Draw near to God. In this advent season may we prepare ourselves again, still and continually fof God to be close!!

    • Michael Perry

      Thanks Jenny! Yes you face this reality everyday. I was asking these questions in theory, you are asking them in practice. Your answer is not just from observation but more importantly it’s what the Bible says is true.

  • Debbie Line

    I read this just before I fell asleep last night and knew I had to write. This is Debbie, Heather’s mom. My adventure through this miracle has been life changing – especially spiritually. I have walked close with the Lord now for about 36 years. All I can say is that it probably took that long to prepare me for this. I knew we were in big trouble before she even went to ICU – I believe God was getting me ready. He asked me through this to fight the battle for my daughter. I did not always know what that was but I took on the armor of God and fought. I spoke scripture and life to her. She was repeatedly told that she could not give up. I laid my hands on her different organ areas and spoke with authority using Jesus’ name for their protection. My worst moments were when I took my eyes off the Lord and looked at the possibility of life without her. Just like Peter – when I looked at the storm rather the Christ – I sank. Facing the possible death of a loved one changes you. I knew that if Heather went home – I would see her again in a little while. I have come to know the Lord of life so deeply that I knew He would get Jeff, Isaac, Kerith and yes even me through it – BUT I did not want it that way! So I fought and sang and read and loved. And now the gracious God of Heaven has given us all a glimpse of His great power in ways I never dreamed possible. I came to know fear and trust in ways I have never known and I guess you have to experience both to grow in the latter. Yes, Michael a miracle. God is great – simple truth but profound. My love and blessings to all of you!

    • Michael Perry

      Thanks Debbie for sharing your perspective. I know you were right there in the battle and as a result received the blessing of seeing Heather the Miracle first hand. I have no doubt God not only prepared you but used you for this moment. Praise God.

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