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Simple Everyday Miracles

June 30, 2012

Getting ready for Sunday I was reading the of Jesus’ healing the leader of the synagogue (Mark 5.21-end).  As a father of a daughter this story has always been a powerful one for me . Hearing the words, “Talitha cum” (little girl, get up) make tears well up in my eyes. I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to my Ellie and losing her as a little girl would have been unbearable. So, I can feel for that poor, desperate man, accosting Jesus.

He didn’t care about his dignity he just needed someone to help and a miracle happened. Just like a miracle happened when our daughter was very ill as a toddler. The condition wasn’t life threatening but would have required painful surgery and possibly a lifetime of treatment. But we were blessed and it was healed overnight to the shock of the surgeons when they came for her in the morning.

But it is not the miraculous that fascinates me most about this story, it is the ordinary.

I’m really struck by the final phrase; Jesus “told them to give her something to eat.” It’s so simple and obvious. This little girl had been very sick. She probably hadn’t eaten for some time. She was cured but she would still need to build up her strength. So the parents are told to stop gawping and feed her!

It’s like the raising of Lazarus, where Jesus has to tell them to take the cloths off so he can walk! or like the Ascension where the disciples are staring up into the sky and an angel has to tell them to get on with things once again. Or the road to Emmaus where Jesus is revealed by the simple act of breaking the bread for the evening meal.

Like the food we eat every day, miracles are natural ordinary things – natural not super natural. Perhaps, miracles are more like the weather, perfectly natural but beyond our control and difficult for us to predict or fully understand – but natural and normal none-the-less.

These stories describe miracles as normal events. They are included in the Gospels as evidence of Jesus’ specialness. But, Jesus’ deals with them as normal everyday events, like getting dressed or eating a meal. 

So I want to take this a step further. I want to see the miracle in the ordinary all of the time. I want to see the miracle in eating a meal: The miracle of life and even the miracle of death. Miracles will happen or not happen, and there is very little that I can do to influence that. But I can ask for my eyes to be opened to see the miracle of God in the ordinary, and the ordinary in the miracle.

But really all of that is too much for me. For now I just want to smile, and share company and food with friends and family.

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