My father-in-law has not been well recently (may Hashem grant him refuah shelema) and has lately been staying home more often. So on a recent Friday night, my family and I decided to eat by my in-laws for the Shabbat meal. Upon walking into their home after prayers, my mother-in-law informed us that my father-in-law was having a particularly rough day and asked us try to convince him to join us at the Shabbat table. I tried, my wife tried, and even my 11-year-old daughter tried, but he explained that he was simply feeling too tired and did not want to sit at the table. So, after much hesitation, we had to eat Shabbat dinner without him.
After the meal, the table was cleared and dessert was served. My wife came in from the kitchen with two cups of tea, moved her father’s chair over slightly, and sat right next to me, very close to where her father usually sits.
A moment later, our three-year-old daughter accidentally ran into the table, slamming her forehead against the wooden edge. She began crying, and I immediately got up to help her and asked my wife to get our daughter a cup of water. My wife went to the kitchen to get the water, and I left my chair to go and hug my daughter on the couch.
Then, suddenly, we heard a thunderous boom. Without warning, the 100-pound mirror that hung on the wall right behind our chairs came crashing down right on top of the chair in which my father-in-law would have been sitting, and the chair that my wife had been sitting in not 30 seconds earlier.
Incredibly, because of the unusual circumstances, no one was in the immediate area of impact and so no one was hurt. We were shocked and amazed. My father-in-laws reluctance to eat at the table with us, which had previously left us disappointed, was now something to be grateful for and my daughter’s accidental and unfortunate bump on the head, seemed anything but accidental.
We know that “hidden” miracles happen every day, but every once in a while we get a glimpse of clarity to recognize the awesomeness of Hashem’s plan. And when that it happens, it is truly an awe inspiring experience.