Someone asked me what I thought about miracles a couple of months back.
“What do you mean?” I asked to try to figure out what the person was actually asking.
“Well, did any of those things actually happen, and if so what do you think people were like when they did?”
We have a tendency these days of writing off miracles. “Oh that just couldn’t happen.”
Sometimes when reading the Bible and the miracle seems particularly outlandish, we get embarrassed. There are some things I like to pass right over; I don’t even want to try to explain it. Maybe we are that way because we are trying
to figure out why miracles do not occur any more. In a world as filled with pain and suffering as ours it is not hard to assume the miraculous is nonexistent and never was.
Or maybe we think ourselves too modern for miracles. Those were things for our crazy ancestors and we are not so crazy anymore. I saw the most amazing picture recently. It was a photo in some book of photos Life Magazine put out for its 60th anniversary. Many of the photos were stunning, but this one was the best, at least to me.
A boy, anywhere from 6 to 9, I can’t ever tell, has a hand to his right ear and what appears to be an earphone in the left ear. He is the object of the photo even if he is not in the center. His face is contorted into an image that seems to be equally shock and splendor, if such a look exists. He sits at a little table in what appears to be some type of laboratory.
There are some colored buttons within his reach on the table.
On the other side of the table is a woman in a white blouse. The photo cuts her off a bit, but what I could see of her she seemed to embody pure joy. Her hands are lifted high like she is in some charismatic church where they do such things. Her head is thrown back and she seems to be laughing, and I mean hysterically laughing. The laugh is a hearty one. It looks like the type of laugh that if I heard as I walked by would cause me to stop so I could see what could be so good.
Then I read the caption.
“Deaf Boy Hears for the First Time”
Glorious indeed. It seems that miracles still happen, or if I am inclined to think that miracles never happened, I guess they do now. Apparently they are cause for great joy and celebration. And even if we could explain them and take all mystery out of what happened, I don’t think that keeps such things from being miraculous for a boy who hears for the first time and a woman who watches it happen.
I wish I had that picture when asked about miracles by a genuinely interested person. That person wanted to know about miracles because to some degree we all want to know about them. We all want to know if they happened or better yet if
they happen still. I could have taken it and showed it off.
I hope that those miracles in the Bible actually happened. Maybe that is why they were written down in the first place. Someone thought they were too good to keep to themselves.
As for what people are like when a miracle happens around them I think that boy’s face and woman’s reaction says it best, some grand combination of shock and splendor that is a cause for great joy and celebration. I hope we each recognize a miracle for what it is and celebrate because of it.