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Miracle on Midway

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Story by Randy Grathen

While stationed on the Island of Guam I was sent on a temporary duty assignment to Midway Island the northern most landmass in the Hawaiian Island chain, 2,600 miles East of Guam or 2,800 miles West of San Francisco. I spent Christmas and New Years on an island totaling 1,200 acres, and run by the Navy. It is small enough that you can stroll around it in a couple of hours.

The night before we were supposed to leave, a Typhoon hit the island knocking down palm trees and blowing debris everywhere. The next morning was overcast but the storm had passed. We were supposed to fly back to Guam that morning but when we saw the condition of the island our commander decided we would stay and help the Navy guys clean up. I was on a chainsaw crew with two Navy men. We are never allowed to wear jewelry; rings and watches, etc. while working so I took off my wedding ring and put it in my pocket. We spent the next 6 hours cutting up palm trees and moving them off the roadway while a crew behind us loaded them on a trailer and hauled them away. When we finished, the commander decided that we still had time to make it back to Guam. We were all anxious to get home to our families after being gone for three weeks on this postage stamp of an island.

I headed back to the barracks to pack my belongings. When I reached in my pocket to retrieve my wedding ring - it wasn’t there. Time to Panic!!!

We were leaving in an hour. I had been all over the island, and I dropped my wedding ring somewhere “out there.” As futile as it seemed I retraced my route. We had stayed on the road most of the time so I had a slightly greater chance than a Snow-Ball-in-Hell of finding my ring.

See that little white bird? That is a Pacific Tern. It helped me find my wedding ring. Well not that particular one, but one like it. As I walked up an incline in the road I noticed the bird was hovering (they do that) directly over a spot in the center of the road. Just then; although it had been overcast the whole day, a patch of sunlight no wider that the road appeared. As soon as it did, I saw a flash of silver. It was my wedding ring laying right in the middle of the road! I don’t know how it could have fallen out of my pocket in the first place, and to be laying in the middle of the road, not in the grass or on the shoulder, and it had not been run over, was just one more part of this amazing miracle. God winked at me that day.

So, when things seem hopeless and you didn’t even think to ask God for help, he will show up anyway using a little white bird and a patch of sunlight just to let me know He is always there, always watching. And every once in a while, he does something to remind us of that.

Forty-seven years later I still have that ring. It doesn't fit my finger anymore so now it's on my key chain. Have a blessed day friends.

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