• News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment

A Lightning Strike Miracle in Maine

Suzie Lechtenberg

Full Episode Audio
Larger view
Lightning dances over a city

The elements are making headlines this weekend -- while New Yorkers are awed by man-made waterfalls, residents of Winfield, Mo., are still trying to hold back the Mississippi where levees broke on Friday. But in Northern California this weekend, firefighters are praying for water. Lightning strikes have set off hundreds of wildfires, threatening homes, power grids and state parks.

These California fires have caused a lot of destruction -- however, not all lightning is bad, and we want to share with you an example: Edwin Robinson.

Lee Robinson: My name is Lee Robinson and this story is about my father, Edwin Robinson.

Bob Gustavson: I'm Bob Gustavson, the pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Falmouth, Maine, and Edwin Robinson was a parishioner there when I first came in 1994. Ed was a remarkable story of someone who had had an accident in his truck and lost his sight and most of his hearing and suddenly had it restored.

Robinson: He had adopted a chicken that somehow had found his way to him, and he had named the chicken Tuck-Tuck because, well, as best as he could make out, that's the sound that a chicken makes: tuck, tuck, tuck... And that's why he was out there. He was walking around the garage calling Tuck-Tuck. And the bird was inside the garage looking out at him, trying to figure out why he was out there, just standing in the rain, during a severe thunderstorm.

Gustavson: I guess it was thundering and lightning and raining and Ed was crawling around out in the backyard looking for Tuck-Tuck on his hands and knees. He finally found the bird and was struck by lightning.

Robinson: The lightning bounced off the tree and went directly into his hearing aids, and blew the hearing aids right out of his ears. The connecting wire was burned completely off. And after my dad had been hit by lightning, he lay on the ground for several minutes and he finally got up and went back in the house. My mom came over to him because he looked, you know, dazed, and he said, "I think I've been hit by lightning." And she kind of said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," and he said, "No, really, I can read that plaque on the wall."

Gustavson: He began reading a plaque of some sort that was up on the wall. It said something like, "God can't be everywhere, that's why he created grandparents." His wife thought maybe he had just memorized it, but it turns out he was actually reading it.

Robinson: So she said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," and "You already know what it says, so that doesn't mean a thing. How about looking at the clock over there on the wall and telling me what time it is?" And he looked at the clock and said, "It's six minutes after five." He got his sight back to 20/20. He got his hearing back. All of his life he had been completely bald and several weeks later there was hair that started to grow on his head.

Gustavson: Not only was his eyesight restored and his hearing restored, but he started to grow hair again. It's hard not to say that it's not miraculous.

Robinson: I think if you talk to anybody else that was around when this incident happened, they would say that it was actually a miracle. I guess you could say there is a bit of luck in there, yes. Otherwise, he literally should have been killed by the lightning, yes.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Bob Dylan
    CD: Self Portrait (Columbia)


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Miguel E


    Our brains determine everything we do and everything that happens up there is electrical impulses. ECT is electricity running through your brain and that's a trusted therapy. I don't understand how this could happen, but I don't know squat about the brain. So as a rare occurrence imho this isn't too outlandish. Miracle, no. Scientific oddity, maybe.

    By Thomas Watson

    From London, 04/15/2013

    For many years now most of the joints in my body would need clicking a few times a day-otherwise I would stiffen up and not be able to move my arm or leg, but a couple of months ago I got electrocuted for a moment and every bone in my body clicked.....since that day only my fingers and angles have needed clicking, and nothing else.

    By Darshan Kathiriya

    From GA, 04/15/2013

    Miracle indeed!

    By telling truth

    From round rock, TX, 03/31/2013

    First time I heard about him. But my grandfather"s neighbor who was injured in ww1 with sight and brain damage was also struck on his farm. The horse he was on died. he was completely healed.

    By Jos´┐Ż Rojas

    From Homestead, FL, 03/31/2013

    I heard of quite similar cases before, in particular a rare brain phenomenon called "Acquired Savant Syndrome." When a person after suffering a physical trauma to the brain started having skills they never learned before

    By James Marlin

    From Courtenay, BC, 03/31/2013

    Could it be luck? Or some simple body/brain mechanics that we don't fully understand? Or was it something more, maybe a miraculous event? While it's easy to be dismissive about matters of faith, sometimes you have to admit that there's compelling evidence of miracles. I guess it all comes down to if you have faith or not.

    By jordan banality

    From boston, MA, 03/31/2013

    "It's hard not to say that it's not miraculous."

    I'm pretty sure you meant to say that it's hard to say it's not miraculous. But I will now say that it was not miraculous.

    By Jason Smith


    I've heard stories like this firsthand. I wonder if there is any scientific theories or evidence as to the plausibility of it.

    By F U

    From AK, 07/18/2012

    Hard to believe ...

    By Kim Sovine

    From La Plata, MD, 07/19/2010

    I am the grand daughter of Edwin Robinson. Tuk-tuk the chicken died 2 years later, was slaughtered by a weasel. The miracle might have happened anyway, but the chicken had been an accomplice.

    By Devyn Tibbs

    From Rockford, IL, 11/17/2009

    Did the lightning cook the chicken?

    By Stormin' Norman


    When I relate this tale to others I have been asked " But what about the chicken ? ".

    By Steve Welch

    From OKC, OK, 09/03/2009

    I was sitting in my dentist office and picked up a Time magazine and read Edwin's story. Doesn't have anything to do with luck....

  • Post a Comment: Please be civil, brief and relevant.

    Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. All comments are moderated. Weekend America reserves the right to edit any comments on this site and to read them on the air if they are extra-interesting. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting.

      Form is no longer active


    You must be 13 or over to submit information to American Public Media. The information entered into this form will not be used to send unsolicited email and will not be sold to a third party. For more information see Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Download Weekend America

Weekend Weather

From the January 31 broadcast

Support American Public Media with your Amazon.com purchases
Search Amazon.com:
 ©2015 American Public Media