‘Signs and wonders’: Synod member shares Christ with taxi driver

Mass programs sit on chairs before the opening procession of Synod 16 on Nov. 18 inside the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in downtown Detroit. During the opening session, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron asked synod members to help him discern, among other things, what role "signs and wonders" might play in accompanying the proclamation of the Gospel in the modern age. (Mike Stechschulte, The Michigan Catholic)

Mass programs sit on chairs before the opening procession of Synod 16 on Nov. 18 inside the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in downtown Detroit. During the opening session, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron asked synod members to help him discern, among other things, what role “signs and wonders” might play in accompanying the proclamation of the Gospel in the modern age. (Mike Stechschulte, The Michigan Catholic)

DETROIT — When Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron asked synod members Nov. 18 to consider the role of “signs and wonders” in the work of evangelization, it got Steve Dawson thinking.

Dawson, national director for St. Paul Street Evangelization, recalled an instance last summer when a team of evangelizers in Cincinnati prayed over a cancer-stricken man confined to a wheelchair for seven years. As a result of their prayers, Dawson said, the man “felt a tingling all over his body, felt strength, got up and walked and his cancer went into remission.”

Dawson

Dawson

Ever since, “I’ve been traveling around the country speaking about healing and teaching about how to pray for healing,” Dawson said. “And we realized that if we’re not praying for anybody, then it’s not going to happen.”

So, given the archbishop’s challenge, Dawson decided to give it another try.

“Out front today, I was parking my car and there was a cab driver who was helping me park,” Dawson told The Michigan Catholic on Saturday morning. “I offered him a miraculous medal as a thanks and I explained to him the story about how in 1830 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine with a promise that whoever would wear it would receive great graces from God, and so many miracles occurred through it that it became known as the miraculous medal.”

The man, a Muslim from Lebanon, believed in miracles, Dawson said, since he had a Catholic friend who had been healed in Lebanon.

“I felt inspired to say to him, ‘Do you have any physical pain right now that we could ask Jesus to heal you?’” Dawson said. “He said his shoulder was really messed up. I said, ‘Let’s pray for Jesus to heal that.’”

After praying with the driver, he felt “a fire and warmth went through his shoulder, and the pain in his shoulder went down to about a four,” Dawson said. “So I said, ‘That’s awesome, let’s pray for 100 percent.’

After praying again, “all of a sudden he said he had no pain at all,” Dawson continued. “He started moving his shoulder around saying, ‘This is awesome!’ And then I got to tell him about Jesus. I went to my car to get a book by Curtis Martin that explains who Jesus is, and he’s out in his cab right now reading the book.

“We exchanged phone numbers and we’re going to meet on Tuesday for lunch.”