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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Life Lessons

Recognizing Miracles

We can see a newborn moth unwrapping itself and announce, Look children, a miracle! But let an irreversible wound be knit back to seamlessness? We won't even see it, though we look at it every day.”
Leif Enger (Peace Like a River)

There is a bumper sticker that says, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” (Philo of Alexandria) Every Sunday morning, during Prayers of the People, this truth is borne out. People raise prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving, of course—for survival from illness, for long-term successful relationships, for children getting jobs. They also raise prayers of concern for the opposite reasons—diagnoses, fractured relationships, children addicted to drugs and families struggling. We can be out in the Fellowship Hall prior to the worship service, and none of this is obvious. One would never guess that anyone there is carrying such a heavy burden. Some people are vociferous in declaring their wounds, of course, but most of us carry them invisibly.

So many people have difficult childhoods; some born to addicted mothers, absent fathers, homes in chaos, or no home at all. So many children are moved from foster home to foster home. On the nightly news we see immigrant children fleeing war and violence, trying to find a safe place to lay their heads. Lasting scars, irreversible wounds. And yet many of them grow up to be productive citizens and decent human beings. The vast majority, in fact. That's quite a miracle when you think about it.

Everyday, I meet people who have major difficulties in their lives, yet they go about their business as usual. We are a species with amazing resilience, able to overcome incredible odds. Perhaps that's because we have to—life is a journey of mountains and valleys, full of hurdles and odysseys, opportunities and disappointments. We are challenged every single day to grow our spines, stand on our feet and meet the world head on. The fact is, most of us do exactly that. Which, my friends, is truly a miracle!

                                                               In the Spirit,


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