It's quite possible we're seeing a miracle in my family right now. I've got a brother who has been battling a brain tumor and, when I saw him a couple of weeks ago he was very weak and stuck in a hospital bed in his own living room. I won't go through all the details of our last conversation, but it did leave me in tears and yet resolved to accept this rather unnatural manifestation of the natural course of life. I drove home and was convinced I had seen him for the last time. And that still might be the case, but then again maybe it won't be.
He's doing more than just rallying. He's able to move around on his own and he's talking about getting strong enough to come off hospice care and resume some treatment. There is not medical explanation for this ... it pretty much has to be a miracle as the Finger of God can be the only thing pressing that tumor back and allowing him to regain mobility and function.
Granted, I have to accept this is a temporary reprieve (we all are dying, right?) but we certainly are glad to have it. However much longer God gives us is a gift and I think my brother recognizes this more than most of us do. And isn't that kind of give the very definition of a miracle anyway?
So, while I'm rejoicing in that gift, I get a call that causes me to fall speechless. Earlier this week, a friend and former co-worker called to let me know the wife of a mutual friend (and former boss) had died suddenly. No apparent reason, no warning and no miracle. At only 57, this mother of four boys was gone. Her husband found her when he came home from work that day. I'm sure there was a physical explanation ... but that hardly matters in the wake of grief my friend, his boys and their extended families are dealing with now.
So all this got me thinking about miracles and about life. While I think it's fully appropriate to ask for miracles, I think we need to also look around us for the miraculous results of other miracles that happened long ago and yet we take for granted now.
Think about that for a moment ... think about the greatest, most miraculous wonder of all that is common to us. The Infinite, Holy God of the Universe created us, gave us free will, knew we would choose to "turn" (check out Paul Young's new book "Eve" if you want a perspective on that word), and chose to pursue us across Heaven and Earth with the intent to win us back. That's miraculous beyond compare and we have evidence around us that confirms it we should see every day.
But, we want our own "miracle" and focus on that far too often while forgetting to bask in the glory of the miraculous even if it's so very simple. And never forget that miracles on Earth - the ones we ask for - are temporary. The miraculous I talked about is permanent. To me, that makes it work far more. I think maybe my brother sees that. I know my friend's wife, standing before the Presence, understands it.
The Crooked Path is a journey, much of which we don't anticipate or plan. I'd encourage you to be on the lookout for the miraculous even as you ask for a miracle. In the end, I think you'll find it more satisfying even if you view it through eyes of pain and grief.