We had been living a very comfortable life. But if I devoted my life to this work, we would need to scale back quite a bit. Is this really what God wants us to do? We decided to pray about it. Lying in bed one night, I told my wife Nancy, “I need a sign from heaven.” She responded; “you had better be careful what you ask for.”
The next day I met with friends, prayed and made plans for the next peacemaking opportunity. As I was driving home that evening, I noticed something strange flashing through the trees overhanging the road. Was that a cross in the sky!?
I wasn’t far from our home in Great Falls, VA and every time I got a peek through the trees, I saw this amazing cloud shape. Finally arriving to a clearing at our local intersection and saw it. It was a huge cloud shaped like a cross, popping out of the clouds!
I ignored the impatient drivers around me, grabbed my palm pilot and took a couple of pictures. Now, most of the time when you see an interesting cloud shape, it doesn’t last. It dissolves as the wind currents push it. So I wasn’t expecting it to still be in the sky when I got to my house less than a mile away.
Once home, I went inside, and there was my son, Marko, with a friend of his -- an Iranian Muslim whom I hadn’t seen in years. Marko and this young man had been best friends when they were little but they’d had a falling out. Today, of all days, was the day they had decided to reconcile and be friends again.
“Mr. Siljander, why is there a cross right over your house?” the Muslim boy asked.
“I’m not sure, but I think I asked God for it,” I answered. It was not over the capitol, or randomly placed, but right above our house! The three of us went outside, and there above us was the enormous cross-shaped cloud.
A few minutes later my wife Nancy arrived home from doing errands.
“Did you see the cross in the sky?” she asked.
Our eyes met. “You remember last night I asked for a sign,” I said.
“Oh absolutely! ... it's a miracle,” Nancy replied.
“We have to go for it,” Nancy smiled and hugged me. She was a bit overwhelmed by the dynamic and mystical response to our prayers just the night before.
This was the first “sign” of many to come. My passion for studying the language of Jesus taught me that the word “miracle” also means a “sign.” Three, equally amazing “signs” in succession seemed to confirm the work God was calling us to. As we would soon discover, that while the cross was an amazing “sign”, it also is symbolic of suffering and sacrifice. Even though dark days were soon to come, we remained committed in the struggle to follow Jesus; a struggle that would prove difficult in our broken world. I had witnessed the power of His name, overcoming even the most hopeless of circumstances.