The real miracle is not getting healed or surviving an accident but living with five senses on a planet where we experience strawberries, hummingbirds, sunsets, waterfalls, penguins, butterflies, ice cream, romance, roses, humor, chocolate, wine, kittens, coffee, and tropical beaches. Einstein got it right: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
The more I get to know Jesus, the more impressed am by what Ivan Karamazov called “the miracle of restraint.” The miracles . . . the signs and wonders the Pharisees demanded, the final proofs I yearn for—these would offer no serious obstacle to an omnipotent God. More amazing is his refusal to perform and to overwhelm. God’s terrible insistence on human freedom is so absolute that he granted us the power to live as though he did not exist, to spit in his face, to crucify him . . .
I believe God insists on such restraint because no pyrotechnic displays of omnipotence will achieve the response he desires. Although power can force obedience, only love can summon a response of love, which is the one thing God wants from us and the reason he created us. “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself,” Jesus said. In case we miss the point John adds, “He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” God’s nature is self-giving; he bases his appeal on his sacrificial love . . .
Why does God content himself with the slow, unencouraging way of making righteousness grow rather than avenging it? That’s how love is. Love has its own power, the only power ultimately capable of conquering the human heart.
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
It has often been pointed out that the story about Jonah and the whale is scientifically impossible. It would need a miracle to happen.
That may be so.
But, it’s not the only miracle. How about the miracle of being alive? C. S. Lewis put it like this: “The probability of us being here is so small, you’d think the mere fact of existing would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise.” Every moment of existence is a fathomless mystery. It is miraculous gift.
Or how about the miracle of sex? The intimate, delightful, exhilarating union of a man and woman that brings about the creation of a brand new, unique, wriggling human being? How awesome is that?
Or the miracle of having eyes and ears to see and hear the beauty and wonder around us? The miracle of having toes and a tongue and fingers and knees and a nose? Or the miracle of walking on a planet where there are blackberries, waterfalls, sunsets, hummingbirds, rainbows, orcas, butterflies, and penguins?
Has your heart not beat faster at the sight of young beauty? Have you not stood with fascination to watch a deer leaping across a meadow, an eagle soaring, a rainbow after a summer storm, a sunset splashing glory across the sky?
We live in a world of stunning beauty; we are surrounded with wonders on every hand. If it has ceased to astonish you, chances are you are dead. There are miracles to be seen wherever we look.