“What’s a miracle anyway?”
I don’t know who asked the question first: me or the girls. Maybe the question just asked itself, there at the end of our dusty farm driveway this morning.
Honestly, the question waves like a flag at us most mornings, right next to the mailbox.
This is where the girls and I pray every morning, while we wait for the school bus to crest the hill out by the barbed-wire fence. We pray for miracles, right here, with our heads bowed as the sun slides up the sky.
Aren’t we all looking for a miracle? And aren’t some of us just wondering where we might find ours today?
I do know that miracles can be scandalously obvious, yet I miss them.
I also know that miracles can remain cruelly shrouded for whole lifetimes, buried under intense pain.
I know that even the most earnest modern-day disciples might have to wait all the way until Heaven, when they can finally look back to spy the miracles that were. It might look like fireworks on the replay, like the whole blasted thing was a miracle.
I might be completely wrong about the fireworks thing, but that’s what I prayed for this morning. I prayed for fireworks, and for every one of us to have as much of the show this side of Heaven as the Good Lord is willing to give us.
Yes, every morning for years, the girls and I have prayed for miracles. And as the girls have gotten bigger, so have their prayers.
The girls and I, we’ve seen enough miracles to know that they really do happen. And that’s why we keep praying for them. For the sick and the dying and the lost cats and the lost people and the broken and the hungry and the rain to finally come.
We aren’t afraid to cry together. And I do think the capacity to cry is a sort of miracle anyway.
I wonder if the reason miracles are so hard to see, is because they’re found in that thin line where glory brushes up against the world’s most sullen parts. It’s so thin, you have to be paying really good attention. And you might have to feel around for it in the dark.
That’s why the rest of us need to always be holding out our candles.
And if miracle is Gospel, then could it all be a miracle? Or is that too Pollyanna? I don’t know. I’m sort of groping around wondering, just trying to work this one out. You know?
I do know this: that miracles don’t always come with signposts and flashing arrows to tell us, “This is it! This is the miracle!”
I have to be paying attention.
After the girls got on the bus, I poked around with my Bible software on the computer. In the King James Version, that one word, “miracle” is only used outright 37 times.
In a book full of miracles, a scant few are actually called miracles. Usually, you have to read the whole story to know that the story is a miracle.
The word “miracle” is missing from the creation story, the parting of the Red Sea, the felling of Goliath, the birth of a Messiah, and even Christ’s unfathomable rising from a sealed grave.
In the Bible, you have to read the story to know it’s a miracle. And maybe in life, you’ve got to live the story, before you can look back to know where the miracles were.
And somewhere on the playback, we’ll see how it was written, not in very large letters, but in the curve of a friend’s arm around your shoulder, the way he bent his knees to pray, or how the pastor put a cross of oil on your forehead, anointing you for God-knows-what.
And God knows what the miracle is.
So I want to stay close by Him.
The girls and I? We’re going to keep on looking for miracles every morning here on the farm, and we’ll be asking Him to unleash a few more on all of us. And I won’t stop asking or looking until that day when I reach the golden road to Heaven.
This song, by Sara Groves, has been burning down into our bones this week. Thus, this post …