It is the ordinary that God turns into extraordinary.
The ordinary day, ordinary word, ordinary photo.
Every year we take pictures of the residents of our Center and hang them on the Christmas tree in the activity room. A simple grade school project of gluing the photo to a construction paper background, punching two holes to thread ribbon through and hang. I’m not sure why we started doing this. It just seemed to be a good thing, the right thing to do.
Often the men send the photo to a family member; a child, a parent, a proof of life photo.
This year we did it differently and their pictures were put side by side, staff mixed in with residents to fill in an outlined Christmas tree.
We put it in the most visible place possible. We wanted everyone to see the smiles and joy this collage of faces, including two dogs and cat, brings to everyone passing by.
We posted it to Facebook and the comments started with Carlos saying this was a tree of miracles. Miracles with names.
There are named miracles in the bible, The miracle at the Wedding at Cana. The miracle of the bread and fish, Lazarus raised from the dead, the various healings: the blind man, the lame, the leper, the woman with an issue of blood, and so on.
Except for Lazarus, these names are impersonal. The names describe more the event than the person.
What makes a miracle?
Is it a drug that cures hepatitis C or cancer? Or Is it a drug that takes away the headache you’ve had for days with no relief?
Is it a little girl who walks away from a plane crash that killed her parents and sibling?
Is it finding your keys?
Are all miracles the same size? Big?
I’ve never known a person to have been healed from a disease in a miraculous way. Meaning, I’ve not known a person riddled with cancer one day and cancer free the next moment. I’ve heard others telling those stories but I’m not a witness.
I’ve prayed for that kind of healing, for family and friends I’ve prayed with an earnest heart for God to heal them and he answered no. No in this physical, earthly life.
Three years ago we walked the property recently purchased, land that will give us space to build an updated and expanded Center for rehabilitation, and prayed for every part. We prayed for the future, for the possibility, for the funding. The money needed is huge and I think to myself it will take a miracle for that so we keep praying. Three years plus, we keep praying.
Are miracles always worked instantaneously?
Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher, was called the miracle worker. She taught this deaf and blind girl to communicate. Not in an instant but over time, she worked a “miracle” and gave future generations hope.
I lean toward belief that God is the miracle worker. The only one who can do what is thought impossible.
Maybe I’m being too generous when I call them miracles. Maybe telling them they are miracles is a stretch. Maybe. But I’m willing to take the chance.
I want Dean and Matt and Steve and Sean and Johnny and Eric and James to know they are miracles. I want Mike and Chris and Art and Randal and Blair and Jeff to know what they tried to change in their strength was done in God’s power.
I want Carlos and Wilbert and Ramon to know what man can’t do, God can and he’s doing it in them.
I want to call His miracles by name and announce that our God is a miracle worker every day.
“Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” Matthew 19:26 the Message
When we see His miracles, we see Him. He is tall and short. Black and brown and white. He has a Jersey accent and Philly and he says Feliz Navidad as clearly as he says Joyuex Noël, Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah.
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” John 1:14 the Message
This God who is too glorious to be seen by human eyes, has made His word flesh and blood and moved into our midst. We tell of His glory that is around us. We pray you will see and know this Everlasting Father, this Prince of Peace, this Savior who is Christ the Lord.