Mark Figley: Miracles still happen around us every day

While many question the concept of miracles, 34-year-old Ian Snyder of Ferndale, Calif., is not one of them.

Snyder and his family, you see, were blessed to celebrate the most memorable Christmas of their lives. And the story is simply too incredible to comprehend — unless, that is, you believe in miracles.

On Dec. 3, Snyder began a solo hike in Oahu up the Ko’olau Summit Trail. The hike is considered far and wide as one of Hawaii’s most challenging. Snyder had completed some of his past hikes alone, so what could possibly go wrong?

Everything was going splendidly into the second day of his journey. At one point, Ian stopped to get a perspective of how high up he actually was. That was when he realized how far he needed to go to get back down. Shortly thereafter is when the unthinkable occurred.

Today, Snyder has no memory of the accident in which he somehow lost his footing and tumbled 1,000 feet down the mountain. Yet somehow he survived, and after coming to, he realized that his left arm was broken, his right eye swollen shut and that he had sustained injuries to his chest and legs. But somehow he was alive.

Despite his condition, Snyder was able to use his right arm to drag himself to a nearby stream for water to sustain himself. He also sought shelter from the elements between two large rocks and found “a deep sense of calm” by leaning on his Christian faith.

During such an uncertain time, Snyder was able to make his peace with God. He knew that things would be OK whether he lived or died, though he prayed that he could live for the sake of his three children.

In the mean time, Ian’s family had not heard from him and contacted the Honolulu police. His prior social media postings on the hike provided first responders with important clues as to where he might be. Still, what were the odds Snyder’s prayers would be answered and he be found in time?

Then on Dec. 7, Ian was awakened by what sounded like aircraft. Could help be on the way?

It most certainly was. First responders in a helicopter spotted Snyder and successfully rescued him. After his near-death experience, Ian required a mere three days in the hospital before being released, a simply incredible and miraculous feat.

Our world is engaged in a spiritual battle between good and evil. And while miracles are never associated with darkness, one came to Ian Snyder at the most special time of the year as a gift from God.

Even as our world is consumed by madness and chaos at seemingly every turn, stories such as this give us hope that miracles really do exist and are happening all around us this Christmas season, if we only take a moment to stop, pause and look.

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.