In a difficult world that sometimes becomes hard to navigate, like the recent debt deal negotiations in Washington, it's good to know that yes, miracles still do occur. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is the latest and best testament for that case.

As Washington politicians pushed Americans to the brink of frustration overload, when the deal was finally done Giffords, the Democrat House member from Arizona, arrived on the scene to cast a vote and remind us that goodness and grace does still thrive in this tough old world.

Wearing glasses, with dark, closely cropped hair and a warm face and smile, Giffords arrived in Washington to cast her vote just seven months after she was shot in the head in a grisly attack in her home state.

Not just seven months after she was shot, either, but seven months after the nation, and world, presumed she would not survive.

Some media organizations had even wrongly reported immediately after the shooting that Giffords had died.

Yet Monday evening, America and the world, saw that yes, she is alive, and doing quite well, considering it all. Her appearance was both an inspiration, and a platform reminding us that in the most difficult of times, we have much to be thankful for.

"It was one of the most thrilling moments for all of us to see this real heroine return to the House," said Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, "and to do so at such a dramatic time."

Giffords cast her vote for the debt-limit bill, which passed 269-161.

Even Republicans were moved by Giffords, and the moment.

"She is a model for the attitude that we should all have because she is tenacious and she is relentless in her love for America. ... You were missed, and we're glad to have you back," said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

Giffords received a standing ovation upon her arrival.

Accompanied by her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, Giffords moved with physical difficulty but in a spiritual and inspiring way. She softened a calloused Washington roughed up in recent weeks, and reminded Americans there's still goodness and hope in Washington.

Yes, miracles do happen -- and Giffords arrived on the scene to remind us of that very thing, at just the moment America needed it most.