God In An Old Broken Radio?


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8

In his dynamic and well-documented new book, The Case For Miracles, author Lee Strobel describes an event from an interview with noted agnostic, Michael Shermer, the founder of the Skeptic Society and editor of Skeptic magazine.

The “event was so mysterious,” according to Shermer, that it shook his own allegiance to agnosticism to its core, almost bringing him back to his boyhood faith that he left after graduating from a Christian college. Even he admitted that what happened could have been a divine miracle.

Shermer and his German-born fiancée, Jennifer, had decided to get married at the local courthouse in Beverly Hills and celebrate afterwards at his home with friends. Although excited, she was feeling pretty alone at the wedding, as none of her family were able to be with her. She had been raised by a single mom along with a grandfather whom she loved like a dad. He had passed away when she was sixteen and she missed him deeply.

Before leaving Germany for the wedding, Jennifer shipped all of her personal items ahead, including a 1970’s transistor radio that no longer worked. But it had great sentimental value because she and her grandfather would often listen to music from the radio as they were doing other activities around their home. Realizing its importance, Shermer attempted to fix it but nothing worked, even new batteries and “a hit on the table. Nothing.” So the radio was stored away in an old desk in his bedroom, “underneath an old fax machine where it had sat for months.”

As the guests gathered together after the wedding, Jennifer suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion and a deep longing for her grandfather. Retreating to the back bedroom, suddenly she and her new husband heard music playing. It was “beautiful, classical, romantic music.” But where was it coming from? Jennifer’s cell phone? No. Michael’s laptop? No. From the neighbors? No. It was coming from inside the old desk. Rushing to the drawer and pulling it open, they discovered that the little old transistor radio had come on with music, just like when Jennifer was with her grandfather. It  continued to play all night and into the next morning and then it went dead again. “To this day,” Shermer added, “it no longer works.”*

Was it a miracle or a coincidental electronic, well-timed anomaly? How can it be explained? Would God do a miracle for an agnostic to win back his heart? How about an atheist? Or how about you or me for whatever reason?

I would suspect that some day Michael Shermer will know the answer, as he is forced to ponder the event on every anniversary of his marriage. Perhaps he may very well return to the faith and miracles of God that he once professed to be true. After all, God is still a miracle worker. Just look at what He’s done in our lives. Maranatha!

*Lee Strobel, The Case For Miracles, Zondervan, 2018, pp. 66-69.

To help us walk closer with God and to know Him better

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