I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a big fan of miracle stories. I’m a bit of a cynic. And I often feel that the quest to inspire, while well intentioned, propels people to create or embellish facts.

Having said that, I would like to tell you a story that I believe was nothing short of a miracle. I’ll let you decide whether to agree or disagree, but I’d love to hear any statistician place odds on the probability that something like this could happen without the hand of G‑d.

In the summer of 2016, my life was comingThe future seemed filled with darkness unglued. The health of my then 15-year-old daughter, who was born with several serious medical conditions, was degrading at a brutal pace, and my marriage of over two decades was on life support. The future seemed filled with darkness.

As she had done before, my daughter was spending her summer at Camp HASC in upstate New York, and my wife and I desperately needed the respite to see if we could somehow get our lives back on track.

In early July, on a Monday morning, my daughter went into a seizure state that the medical staff at Camp HASC could not get her out of. They ended up taking her by ambulance to Cornell Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. My daughter was no stranger to seizures, and we were confident she would snap out of it with proper medical care. But she didn’t.

The following day they decided to put her into a medically induced coma in an attempt to stop the seizures.

As always, it will pass. I thought.

But it didn’t.

I flew to New York at 6:00am on Friday to relieve my wife who had been sitting at our daughter's bedside for days. I grabbed an Uber directly to the hospital, not having the slightest idea how long I would be there. I would be staying at the Friendship House two blocks away for when I wasn’t sleeping in the ICU with my daughter. It’s kind of like a Ronald Mcdonald House for Jews.

I arrived at Cornell and made my way up to the ICU where I saw my daughter lying in a coma, breathing with the aid of technology.

By the time I left the room an hour later to drop off my bags it had become painfully clear that our marriage had been taxed beyond its limits. We were going to become a cliché, joining the ranks of so many families with chronically ill children who snap from the endless pressure.

Another thing about me: People handle stress and pain in different ways. Some cry. Some withdraw. I tend to find something—anything—to laugh about, keeping the pain internalized where no one can see it. It works for me.

Case in point: As I neared the Friendship House, I saw a hipster about to go for a run. We don’t really have hipsters where I come from, at least not in my neighborhood. And this wasn’t just any Hipster; he had some serious biceps. So I had a choice to make. Do I just walk on by like a normal person, or do I obey the endless signs posted all over New York commanding, “If you see something, say something”? Always a stickler for following rules to theI soon discovered that I could not log on to my work server tee, I complimented the runner’s biceps and asked him if he worked out. He affirmed that he did and thanked me for the compliment. And off I went, happy to have given someone a chuckle without getting beaten up in the process.

Back at the hospital, I tried to set myself up to be able to work remotely, but to my dismay I soon discovered that I could not log onto my work server from the hospital. This was going to be a significant problem.

Naturally, this was the perfect time for a customer to call.

I had met this customer, Yekusiel Lipskier—who runs the University of Alabama Chabad center, through his brother Zalman who runs the Emory University Chabad center. I’d been working with Yekusiel for several months to help him purchase the home he was renting, which he intended to convert into the local Chabad house.

He explained that his landlord had suddenly sold the house to someone else. So now, not only did he not have a house to buy, he also had to be out of his rental in a number of weeks. He wanted help getting pre-approved for another house, and I didn’t even have an abacus on me, let alone access to my work server!

“I’d love to help you,” I assured him, “but I’m in a bit of a bind.” I explained the fiasco with my computer and told him that I was in the hospital with my daughter on the Upper East Side.

“What? Really?” he responded. “So am I!”

“I’m at Cornell,” I told him.

“I’m at Sloan Kettering across the street,” he said.

“Looks like I’m going to be sleeping in the ICU for quite a while,” I mentioned.

“Oh, I’m staying at a small place down the street called the Friendship House,” he said.

“Wait a second!” I exclaimed, “I have a room there too! For when I switch off with my wife. Which room are you in?”

“I’m in room five,” he said.

“I’m in room four!” I exclaimed.

So there we were, two people from the deep south who have never met in person, who, for whatever reason, ended up in the same part of NYC, on the same weekend, in the same place, on the same day that his real estate deal fell through and he decided to call me.

He suggested that I come over for a l’chaim so we could actually meet in person, and how could I refuse? When I left the hospital to prepare for Shabbat, I made my way to room five of the Friendship House and knocked on the door.

When the door opened, I did not recognize him. But he recognized me.

“You’re the guy who commented on my biceps!”

So there you have it.

It’sIt was a beacon of light in the darkness not as dramatic as the splitting of the sea, or the burning bush, or the massive army that laid siege to Jerusalem suddenly and inexplicably dying.

But for me, it was a beacon of light in the darkness that may have even saved my life.

We pray to not experience suffering. But sometimes, for whatever reason, G‑d determines that we should experience the darkness and sheer fear of watching everything go wrong. And when that happens, we can feel very alone. In my experience, that’s the hardest part.

But, although things have not (yet) improved, this encounter helped me realize that I’m not alone, that there is an Almighty Who can send signs to let me know He is with me in my suffering—even if that sign is as random as a Chabad Rabbi running through NYC in a baseball cap!