Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent–Miracles

My office manager and I were talking today about miracles.  We each have stories where God has rescued us from near-death experiences.  She was held up at gun point on the church parking lot and she was once threatened by a man with a gun in a particularly rough part of our metro area.  (Think National Lampoon’s Vacation.)  She managed to escape then heard on the evening news that the same gang that threatened her committed a similar crime just minutes later, raping a woman repeatedly.

Mine didn’t involve a gun, but rather a semi-truck.  To make a long story short, I had just turned into the left turn lane when a truck went airborne in the lane I had just left.  It went sailing through the air at just about the right height to cut me in half if I hadn’t changed lanes.

I think most of us have experiences like that.  People of faith will credit them to God.  People of no faith will call it luck.  There have been other miracles in my life, some big, some small.  The fact that I’m an ordained member of the Catholic clergy is definitely a miracle (and proof that Jesus has a sense of humor.)  The fact that a high-school nerd married a cheerleader is certainly a miracle.  And I can’t look at my four grown-up kids or my four grandchildren without seeing the hand of God.

So, what happened?  Why do so many Americans, even Americans who express a belief in God, have such a hard time accepting the fact that God does perform miracles in our lives?  Are we so self-centered that we believe we don’t need God to help us out from time-to-time?  Have modern technology and medical science made miracles seem obsolete?  Are we just so jaded that we can’t see God in a world that has so much darkness in it?

These are not rhetorical questions.  I don’t have the answers.  But after the events of last week in Connecticut, I think it’s high time that those of us who do believe in miracles had better get busy trying to convert the non-believers.  Sometimes miracles are performed by highly skilled physicians using techniques that have been developed by other highly skilled men and women.  Just because a damaged heart is repaired in the operating room doesn’t mean that God didn’t have a hand in it.  Every operation is not a success.

As a hospital minister for many years I could go on for hours about patients whose doctors discovered cancer while they were  in the hospital for something else.  Had they not had the lesser problem the fatal disease might not have been discovered until it was too late.  I’ve even seen visitors in the hospital having heart attacks that would have been fatal if they had been at home.

In just a few days we’re going to commemorate the greatest miracle of all.  The all-powerful God came down from heaven to become one of us.  In the process He saved us from our sins and made it possible for us to live forever.  We give thanks for that and all the other great miracles we’ve witnessed in our lives, but let’s not forget the small miracles that happen around us every day.

2 Responses

  1. I can attest to the fact that miracles happen in the operating room. My wife had four way bypass surgery twelve years ago and the doctor who did it called it a miracle. He said it was a miracle that he was able to find something to graft to and another that my wife survived. He gave all the credit to God.
    As for the darkness in this world, Christians have been retreating for years, the time to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ has arrived as our readings this past Sunday remind us of that voice crying in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord….we must become that voice no matter what the slings and arrows we suffer for it.

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