Miracles: Where Do They Hide?

Miracles. I have been thinking about them a lot lately.

What are they –I mean, really, what are they?

Where do we find them?

Do we consider them a miracle when we get what we pray or wish for?

And who is deserving of them?

Recently, I’ve been praying for one. And it’s a big one.

This past week, I spent time at the beach with my family. The beach is where I believe God lives full-time. I watched the waves roll in and roll out in perfect rhythm—a dance that has gone on long before me and will continue long after I’m gone. Looking at the vastness of the water, I can feel so small AND yet powerful.

Recognizing Your Miracles

As I stared at the water, my mind took me back to the words of a dying young woman that I knew many years ago.

Her words were soft and slow in coming as she struggled to breathe. Her body was weak and frail, and the effort seemed to take hours. But when the words finally came, I remember they hit me with a force.

She said, “For months, I have prayed for a miracle. I prayed that I would wake up and this cancer would be gone. That I would jump from this bed and step back into my life. A life filled with busy and full days of rushing to my daughter’s softball games, yelling at my boys to clean their rooms, and balancing phone calls from the office while trying to grocery shop. All the things that would have seemed stressful and annoying at the moment today would mean a normal and healthy life. Such a contrast to the tubes, the pain, and the energy that fades from me each day. Today, as I accept the ending of my journey, I no longer pray for the miracle that I wanted, I accept the miracle that has been granted to me.”

I held her cool, frail hand as she took another breath and continued. “I have had the blessing of a life filled with people who love me. I have been given the gift of parenthood and the privilege of knowing unconditional love. I leave this world knowing and understanding that I was here for a reason. I had a purpose. Realizing this before I am gone has been my miracle.”

I thought about her words as she closed her eyes for a while. At first, it seemed odd to me that she used the word miracle as she did. When I think of the word miracle, I focus on its traditional meanings and connotations. A miracle is a powerful outcome that defies logic and the powers of nature or humankind as if guided by spiritual power. It is an event that is statistically unlikely and for which there is no logical or human explanation.

As I left the hospital, I recall taking a deep breath of the cold air that hit my face, and I thought about the many faces of those that I had sat at the bedside through their dying process. Some struggled with the fear of dying and held onto anger and resentment that this had happened to them. Some clung to the hope of a miracle, a cure, and asked for every medical intervention to facilitate the cure while others resigned themselves and accepted the end of their life– some in defeat and some in peace.

The 42-year-old woman who was only days away from taking her last breath was gifted with the awareness of her value and her worth. Her miracle was the realization that life, her life, had purpose and meaning. A reality that she did not recognize when she was running through her hectic days but became clear to her as she lay in her hospital bed.

Her miracle was a mindful focus on the moments and events that mattered. A powerful reminder that despite our best efforts to control and manage our life’s path, much of it is not in our control. What we do control is the moments that exist in the present. These are the moments that sustain us and often the ones that are reviewed at the bedside.

Living in Our Moments

My hope for all of us is that we mindfully and consciously live in our moments. Perhaps we need to pay attention to how much energy we expend on anger and frustration at the traffic, the annoying boss, the political chaos, or fighting with friends and family in life or on social media.

How often do we hear ourselves saying I wish it were Friday, I wish it were summer, I wish it were retirement, etc.?

But what if our greatest and most cherished bedside moments happen on a Monday morning or in the winter or during our work life? What if our purpose and the difference we will make occur during those moments?

Maybe we miss opportunities to see and hear people right in front of us as we bury ourselves in our electronic devices and put our energy into future activities and plans with only a casual recognition and glance of the present.

The present moments can be elusive, but it is where the good stuff lives. It’s where our moments of miracles often hide.

I looked at my moment on the beach. There was my sweet baby granddaughter giggling in wonderment at the ocean as the waves touched her toes, my mother watching her and smiling (a gesture that has not come easily since my father passed away several months ago). I grabbed my husband’s little finger—his eyes met mine as we both glanced over at our daughter holding her daughter. This was a miracle moment.

I know that in our stressful world, with its daily hustle and overwhelm, it’s easy to overlook the profound beauty and significance of the moments that make up our existence. We rush from one task to the next, often wishing away our days for a future that promises more time, more happiness, or more fulfillment. Yet, in our relentless pursuit of what lies ahead, we often miss the simple, invaluable moments right before us.

The value of our lives is not measured by grand gestures or monumental achievements but by the small, seemingly insignificant moments that, when cherished, create a rich and meaningful existence. We discover them in the silence and reflective moments of our lives. By focusing on the present and appreciating the beauty of our everyday experiences, we can uncover the true miracles that lie within our grasp.

Let us make a conscious effort to be present, live fully, and recognize the miracles that unfold in our lives daily. In doing so, we honor the life and wisdom of those who have come before us and ensure we leave a legacy of mindful and grateful living for those who follow.

 

 

Rephrase with Ginger (Cmd+⌥+E)