Wayne Boyd said he has been granted 20 miracles in his lifetime — but it took him until he was in his 60s to realize they were, indeed, miracles.
The former U.S. Army chaplain, now retired and living in Hamlin, has written “The Twentieth Miracle,” a book about these divine events, devoting one chapter to each miracle. Boyd’s book is summarized as a recollection of all the times God blessed him with His powerful miracles.
He said the book started out as little more than a cathartic journal as a way to process the physical and emotional issues he was experiencing as a result of serving in Operation Desert Storm.
“I had normalized it,” Boyd said of his diagnosed PTSD.
“The preacher preached about miracles, and it caught me, and I thought, ‘Wait a minute; I’ve had lots of miracles in my life,’” he said. “I just prayed to God and said, ‘Can You just do me a solid, let me know if I’m on the right path?’”
Boyd had severely injured his back while in the Army and was unable to do many activities, including lifting his grandchildren.
The day after he prayed to God, Boyd said, he received his 20th miracle — his back pain was gone.
This began his journey out of fundamentalism into progressive thought, he said.
He put his thoughts on paper for the next three years, writing it mainly for his three children and nine grandchildren, he said, but after talking about his writing with his friends, many of them were curious about the contents and wanted to read it once it was finished. He decided to submit it for publication, and for the next year he worked to turn his typed words into a 120-page book.
He said he has received positive comments from people who have read it.
“I’m Christian, but I’m very liberal now,” he said. “I love God more, and I love my neighbor more. … I had a strong relationship with God all my life, but it’s changed — and in a very intimate way. … I love who I am. I love my wife more. Our marriage is off the charts; July will be 40 years.”
THE GRACE OF GOD
Boyd said each miracle is distinct.
He survived getting struck by lightning at the Grand Canyon.
He dreamed of what his wife was going to look like, down to the smallest details, and the next day he went to his new job at a restaurant and that same woman was a manager. It was his future wife, Sharon.
He was in Texas, sleeping on a friend’s sofa and waiting tables, when he was offered a position at a camp in Mexico. He had to be there the next day, so he packed his Toyota and took off. Around midnight, he wanted to turn on some music to help him stay awake while he drove the dark and empty road, but the only stations he could find were country stations.
He reached back to retrieve a music cassette tape, said a prayer for his broken tape player to work and pushed in the tape. Music by the gospel group The Imperials started playing.
“At that very time, an Imperials bus passed me by on the road,” Boyd said. “It was instantaneous. It shocked me out of being sleepy at all. I was praising God the whole way. And it never played again.
SHARING GOD’S WORD
Boyd had pastored two churches when he realized he wanted to do something else with his life.
“My favorite place is the next place I go to,” he said. “The Army offered that.”
For the next 29 years, the Clarksville, Tennessee, native served as a chaplain, receiving military assignments in places such as California, Texas, Germany and Korea. His deployments included Panama, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Before retiring in 2016 as an Army colonel, Boyd had received numerous awards, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award and National Defense Service Medal.
After retirement, the Boyds moved to the Hamlin community in Winter Garden, where he began writing his book.
“The Twentieth Miracle,” published by Covenant Books, can be purchased at book stores and online. All profits are donated to several churches overseas that Boyd supports.
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.