Ordinary Miracles – A Singing Bear and a Faithful Little Boy


(Today, I introduce a new category of posts – Ordinary Miracles. The category was suggested by faithful reader Kathy Haas of McCook, Nebraska. She is author of the first such post. These will be stories from readers of ordinary miracles in their lives – not big showy things where God speaks in thunder, but little graces where He speaks with a tender caress. It can be a story such as the lovely one Kathy tells below, or the story of how your conversion deepened, or of how a family member or loved one you thought was drifting found real trust in God. If you have such a story, send it to me at chrljhnstn@gmail.com. Of course, all stories may be edited, but before I publish a story with substantial edits, I will send it back to you for final approval. And now, an ordinary miracle. – CJ)

By Kathy Haas

In the spring when my son Brad was almost three years old, his grandmother gave him and his brothers each a teddy bear from her collection.  Brad received a very nice bear that Grandma had bought at an after-Christmas sale.  It was supposed to play carols when you pressed its paw, but it didn’t work.  Her electronically-minded husband and son weren’t able to fix it, so it was just a bear that was nice to look at and cuddle.  My observant two-year-old figured out somehow that the bear was supposed to do something but wasn’t working.  He brought it to me and said, “Fix it, Mommy.”  I explained that it was broken, that Grandpa couldn’t fix it and Uncle Rick couldn’t fix it.  He said, “But you can fix it, Mommy.”  I gently told him I was sorry but I couldn’t.  He went away and came back to announce that it just needed batteries.  I told him that his grandpa and uncle had put new batteries in it, but it still didn’t work.  He said, “But you can fix it, Mommy.”  So I got some new batteries, put them in, and showed him that it still didn’t work.  He went away and came back to announce that I needed to work on his bear and fix it.  His faith in Mommy was lovely, and I really hated to have to let him down.  So I fiddled with the wires and the batteries.  Still it didn’t work.  He kept saying, “But you can fix it, Mommy.”  I said a quick prayer, asking God to soften the blow when my two-year-old learned that despite his great faith in Mommy, there are just some things that cannot be fixed.  I fiddled with the bear again, then pressed its paw to show him that the bear was just broken and would never work.  To my amazement, its nose lit up and it began to play Christmas carols.  His face lit up as he announced, “I knew you could fix it, Mommy!”  As I said a quiet prayer of thanks that a little boy’s faith was rewarded, I looked at the clock and noticed that it was three o’clock in the afternoon–on Good Friday.  God had done more than reward a little boy’s faith.  He had brought home to me in a very personal way the lesson of Good Friday–that no matter what the senses said, no matter what the physical reality said, no matter what the wisdom of the world said, that God would make everything right.  It was the greatest lesson in faith I ever had, courtesy of a two-year-old boy and a broken electronic teddy bear. The bear still sings its message of faith 27 years later.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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33 Responses to Ordinary Miracles – A Singing Bear and a Faithful Little Boy

  1. As an affirmation of personal faith this is one of the best stories I have heard in years. It has greater impact on the heart of the reader, than reams of dire apocalyptic warnings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, I emphasize that God is almost always found in the ordinary…not in pulsing beams of light and such. When Kathy suggested this, it lit a firework in my head. For readers to share their stories of ordinary miracles is to live solidarity – and marks out the real path that we will follow safely through these times. He is close at hand in the little whisper. (Oooo…that would have been a good category name, too, “Little Whispers” Maybe I will use that for personal deepening conversion stories.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. anaverena1 says:

    Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Anne says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. I am signed up at Pray More Novenas which come by email, and this is the third day we are praying to Our Lady Undoer of Knots. How similar this little boys request was to our own as grownups to our Holy Mother. Great story.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elaine says:

    Thank you for sharing! That greatly touched my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. NL says:

    Loved this story. Another place – publication – which also has uplifting stories, if anyone is interested, is Guideposts. And they have another small magazine called Angels on Earth. Both are of stories sent in by readers. They have to be true stories, written by the person the stories happened to. And they need to deal in some way with faith experiences. The stories are all quite short, so in just a few minutes you can get an inspiring, faith-filled mood-lift. This story would make a great addition to their magazine. Kathy, I would encourage you to send it in. You’ll inspire a lot of people, in addition to all your readers here. (My first Guideposts showed up unexpectedly at our home after we’d just moved in – I expect because the previous owner’s change of address had not gone thru yet – after reading it I sent for my own subscription – that was in 1989. God’s timing was perfect – it was just what I needed. I always pass them on after reading them – they are too good to throw away.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark says:

    That is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

    One of these every day miracles occurred when when my eldest daughter was just a little girl, maybe 3 or so, we were at Mass. The Priest in his homily was talking about the angels at Mass and how they filled the Church in adoration. At that point my little girl looking toward the altar and above it, with a face full of wide-eyed wonder and amazement reached up, without looking, and tugged on my wifes sleeve and said “Mommy, There are beautiful”. Her look was wonderfully haunting.

    I have always known, but since then keenly realized that there is so much more than I can see. There is far more to a child-like faith than we often realize.

    My wife’s family has always had a hard time conceiving, and so did we. We had hoped for more children but to no avail. We were attending a Catholic Home-School conference when I met Fr. Hardon (his cause for beatification is being looked into!). He was advanced in years, a bit stooped over. I explained to him our desire for more children. He stood up straight, pointed at me with enthusiasm and very forcefully stated “I Guarantee you you will have more Children, Call me when you do” He said he would pray for us and have Mass said etc. As soon as he said it I knew it was going to happen, that was it it was a done deal. I went and got my wife and he told her the same. Two weeks later we had confirmation she was pregnant. We had our second daughter (and I did call and tell him when she was baptised). He said “Children” as in plural, and we never lost hope for more. We are now in the process of adopting 2 girls that we have fostered for over 5 1/2 years, fulfilling the rest of his promise to us for more children that I feel came through him from God. All my kids are miracles, gifts from God to us, but even without those circumstances I realize all kids are.

    Liked by 4 people

    • anne ovari says:

      I agree Mark, I’ve always thought that all children are a miracle and even more so these days with the horrendous amount of abortions that take place. God have mercy on us. Thank you for sharing your lovely story. Thank you also Kathy for your wonderful story too. We need to hear more of these ordinary miracle stories to give us hope and to help us endure. Thank you Charlie for the opportunity to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Genevieve says:

      My daughter also saw an angel in church when she was little. We had a skylight in the church ceiling and had to get a new roof . When it was finished they had covered up the skylight and my daughter said to me ” Why did they take down the picture of the beautiful angel that used to be in that spot?” I said to her there was never an angel picture there. It used to be a window to the sky. She replied that there had always been an angel there when she looked up and she missed seeing it now. God is so wonderful to give us these little glimpses to increase our faith.


  7. Becky-TN says:


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sr Lorraine says:

    Beautiful story! And it played Christmas carols on Good Friday. From the crib to the cross. I’ve noticed how quite a few of the older carols have references to the cross, like in “What Child Is This?”

    Sword, spear will pierce him through,
    The cross be borne, for me, for you,
    Hail, hail, the Word made flesh,
    The babe, the Son of Mary.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jaykay says:

      Absolutely, Sr. Lorraine. I’m in our local church choir, and I’ve often thought of the connection that we’re singing “venite, adoremus” on two occasions: Christmas, with the “Adeste fideles”, and Good Friday with the unveiling of the Cross. From the wood of the crib to the wood of the Cross.

      I love the bear story, both for the deeper meaning and just the heart-warming reminder of the way that kids go on. I think I needed something like that right now, at a challenging time. They can trust like that, because they know they’re loved.

      And searching on the phone, I’ve just discovered a teddy bear smiley 🐻 Appropriate, or what? 😏

      Liked by 2 people

  9. donna says:

    oh to have the faith of a child….he knew you could fix it…..I have to exhibit that type of faith with God….I have to relieve myself of doubt and anxiety. I have to be tenacious in prayer. God hears all things and cares for all….this story is very beautiful and will help me get a great start on my weekend….God bless all….

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mary N says:

    Oh what a beautiful story! Thank you, Kathy!

    Mark, I loved yours as well. I wouldn’t know if my daughter ever saw angels as a tot since she was always too busy trying to sneak water out of the holy water fonts. And this a child who is named after St. Michael! (She used to try to unscrew the kneelers from the pew too. Fr. K, if you are reading this I swear the screws were already loose! Oh, and you know all those drawings on the Catholic charity envelopes that one year? Yep, that was my little angel. A miraculous one like
    yours, Mark 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Frances says:

    Thank you, Kathy, for singing the mercies of Our Lord through that loving and inspiring life event. What set me pondering was how, after all your son’s attempts, trusting that you could fix the bear, that it only got fixed after YOU had prayed. How wonderful to see your faith in action as well as his! How lovingly God answered in what seemed a “little thing,” but one that will send echos of God’s love, in the little details of our lives, to all who read your story. Little things mean a lot. God IS in the details of our lives. Are we looking? This story is a great example.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Karen says:

    Thank you Kathy. Praying every day for an increase in faith, hope, charity and TRUST!
    God bless you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Judy says:

    Our Lord always surprises us in how He shows us the fullness of His love. What a beautiful recollection of an event which is now unforgettable for many, many people! Thank you for posting and for making our day so much brighter.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Judy says:

    I recently had to decide if I should put more money in my 2002 car or get a certified used car (I never buy brand new cars). I did not want to take on the debt, but I also did not want to throw money into an increasingly deep hole. So I asked God for a certain sign which He has been giving me frequently over the last 8 months. I think that He has given this sign to me to encourage me and allay fears during difficult weeks, as a pat on the back or a smile (I think) when I go out of my way to help someone (there is always quick ‘feedback’) , and sometimes as a confirmation for something I am asking about. The sign is always clear and often comes in a new and unexpected way. When He surprises me unexpectedly with His creativity, I always laugh. (He knows that I love to laugh). And then I give heartfelt thanks to our beloved Father, Son and Holy Spirit and, of course, our dear Blessed Mother. I pray that I will never be big disappointment!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jean says:

    I think God’s telling me to keep praying for my memory, which is a mess. I prayed deeply the last few days about it b/c it is interfering with learning a new job which has to get me to retirement. Then this morning at Mass, the priest in his homily said ‘something good is going to happen to you this weekend’. I thought that was the strangest thing to say to everyone at morning Mass but felt immediately that God was speaking to me. Then I read about this little child’s persistence and I know that God is telling me not to stop praying. For today, God is my mommy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Karen D. says:

    You could say little Brad’s version of ‘The Parable of the Persistent Widow – Luke 18:1-8’ occurring at 3pm is also an indication of Divine Mercy. Charlie, a wonderful page you have started – I am sure it will be swamped! The Goodness of God is ‘exhausting’ to us mere mortals but seriously we are certainly going to need to be constantly reminded and what a wonderful way for those lessons to come – communally.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. EllenChris says:

    Thank you, Kathy and Mark and everybody. We all need encouragement these days, and all of the stories are so encouraging. Great idea, Charlie. Thanks to God for His constant care for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kathleen Vacheresse says:

    Sept. 1998 My daughter’s nephew Jonathan was tragically killers at the age of seven..hr was being prepared for his First Holy Communion. At his Mass I am sat in the backlog the Church with our youngest grandchildren so their parents could sit upfront with the family. Our three year old granddaughter became very excited and said outloud grandma look at all the angels. I reached over and put my finger on her lips to guiey her. Then at the Consecration again said outloud all the angels are with Jesus.(she always called Father Jesus when she saw him in Church) I know that because of her child like innocence she read given the grace to see His Angels. We pray that Our Lord will call us back to our child like innocence when we can give our will entirely to His Holy Will

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kathleen Vacheresse says:

    I must take time to check my posts before I click send. I meant to say I put my finger on her lips to quiet her .and also he was tragically killed.


  20. Bob says:

    Let us pray for you Master Sherpa and for these other Sherpas who lost their lives in the earthquake yesterday:


  21. Gary says:

    How are you with laptops?


  22. Janise McElveen says:

    So very nice….thank you for this. We need this now….we need Love, Hope, Friendship with one another, God’s people…..the Light of Christ is so very powerful, but the length of the night is long. Stay embraced in His Loving Arms, my friends.




  23. Doug says:

    So heart warming. The little gifts and graces are so beautiful.



  24. Chris says:

    Feeling deep sorrow for those in the earthquake in Nepal and praying St . Gertrude’s prayers for those who may be in purgatory.
    Enjoyed your stories…Kathy, Mark, Genevieve and Kathleen. I am praying for your memory Jean.I had memory problems for years due to stress, medications for depression etc. but the Lord healed me and I know He will do the same for you.
    Our Lord has shown me so many miracles, too many to to recall at this moment. I would like to share the very first one that I remember as a 10 year old child.
    My grandfather had given me a puppy shortly before he died so this puppy was so very special to me. One day I we outside to play with the puppy only to find that she was gone. My parents put an ad in the paper in the lost and found but no replies. I cried every night for two weeks or more as I was so heartbroken not only for the loss of the puppy but for the loss of my grandfather’s last gift to me. One day the grief I felt was so intense, I could no longer bear it. I left home and walked 2 miles to the nearest church where I got on my knees and prayed God please bring my puppy home. I walked back home and when I reached the front yard, the puppy was home. My mom said a lady returned her after seeing the ad. God heard my prayers.
    Praying, as God hears all of our prayers here and grants many miracles throught the storm.


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