A cold march wind danced around the dead of night as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing.

At twelve inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctors soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a ten percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one." Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk; she would probably be blind; she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation; and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their five year old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of druged sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live, and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.

David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangments, Diana remembers, "I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, 'No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say, Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us.' "

As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life, hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because of Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.

All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultra-violet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Danae turned two months old, Her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Today eight years later, Danae is a normal and fiesty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, whatsoever, of any mental or physical impairments. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more, but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of '96, near her home, Danae was sitting in her mothers lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms accross her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes it smells like rain."

Danae closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin sholders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on his chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in thier hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of the first two monthes, when her nerves were to sinsitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on his chest, and it is his loving scent that she remembers so well.


The above story has been verified as the absolute truth by this reporter. I contacted Mrs. Blessing and verified the story and discovered this story has been published in christian magazines starting about '97 and she has received numerous phone calls from around world since this story is also being sent by email accross the net. I have deleted the name of the city at her request so as to not increase the number of phone responses to this story. My sincere request to you is that you not seek Mrs. Blessing and accept or reject this story at face value.

by Guillermo Martinez

HOW CAN EVIL FIT IN WITH THE CONCEPT OF A LOVING GOD… I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. I was the firstborn of a family of five children. My mother always was a hard-working woman. My father was a well-known detective within the Puerto Rico police force. I was always looking after my younger sisters. I was only eleven years old in November of 1982. I was home with my parents. It was a beautiful scene. My mother was cooking her favorite dish, while my sisters played with their rag dolls nearby. My father was shinning his shoes; with little effort they were looking like new again. All at once the scene started to change… I felt a strong emotional current. I was sure of an imminent catastrophe. My father set aside the shoes and looked at my mother with cruel eyes, devoid of compassion. "Nilsa, I have something to confess. It will be difficult for you to accept it", he said smiling. "What is it?" she asked innocently. "We are police officers and many times we are tempted…" "Tell me what it is… You are worrying me. Tell me!" "Well, I got another woman pregnant…" In that instant everything changed. My sisters ran to their room. In my ignorance, I felt rage, pain and hate. My mother cried inconsolably, "Why me? Why me? I didn't deserve this!" That day my father was dead to me. For the next nine years I wielded the weapon of drugs and alcohol, trying to avenge what my father had done to us. This was a weapon of self-destruction. I tried to convince myself that I had never had a father. I was tired, depressed and had lost the desire to live. Against my will, I accepted the help of a pastor, whom I considered crazy and old-fashioned. On May 7th, 1991 I was finally rid of my strong heroin addiction. It was a miracle. I received Jesus as my savior but the rage against my father that burned inside my heart did not allow me to accept Jesus' unconditional love. My rage was mixed with fear, and there was no relief. Around that time something remarkable happened… There was a great sense of expectation for a miracle among the youth in the drug rehabilitation center. We heard the bell toll; the director was calling us to our usual meeting under the almond tree. Ah, the famous almond tree! It seemed to be God's favorite place to work in our broken and confused hearts. We sat in a circle and awaited instructions. I noticed that some parents were arriving to spend time with their sons. "Thank goodness that my father forgot about me!" I foolishly thought. Suddenly I noticed a red car. Surely, I must be hallucinating. I could not believe it… but, yes, it was my father. I started to tremble. Would God perform a miraculous healing today? Seconds seemed like hours. My father got out of the car and walked very, very slowly… Mercedes, a formidable woman, tall and of dark skin, announced that the meeting was about to begin. I did not know what would happen. Mercedes started to speak about forgiveness. My blood ran cold. I did not dare to turn around to look my father in the eye. "Mr. Martinez, have you forgiven your son?" asked Mercedes. "Yes, I have forgiven him… But if he ever does it again, I will kill him!" my father answered. "You haven't even forgiven yourself!" said Mercedes authoritatively. While this transpired, my mind was a sea of conflicting thoughts. A stormy sea. I could not think clearly. Mercedes changed the subject, and started a group dynamic. She distributed blank pieces of paper and pencils. I was intrigued, not knowing what to expect. But I started to experience an overwhelming sense of supernatural peace. "Write down everything that you want your father to forgive." Mercedes told me. "…Dad, forgive me for being such a bad son… for rejecting you and hating you." As I wrote on that little piece of paper, I felt all the rage ebbing away and my fear was being transformed into love. "Mr. Martinez, write down everything that you want your son to forgive," said Mercedes. I tried to keep tabs on how long it would take him. After about five minutes, Mercedes asked us to stand face to face. I could not stand to look at my father. My legs felt weak. I could not wait for this to be over. "Young man, look your father in the eye and read your list out loud." Mercedes ordered. As I read what my heart had poured unto that paper, I felt God's strength and deliverance. My eyes filled with tears when my father, contrite, begged my forgiveness for what he did to our family. It was a spectacular climax. We ended up hugging and talking to each other as we had never done before. That day the stereotype of a father that I had in my mind was broken. I was able to understand the kind of Father that God is –very different to an earthly father, perfect in love and understanding. This discovery was the most important accomplishment that day. For many years a lived believing I had no father. Now I know that I have two beautiful fathers: my "old man" –Guillermo Martinez, and my awesome Jesus –who loves unconditionally.