Ordinary Miracles

Asked recently to define a miracle, I leaned into my experience as a student of A Course in Miracles and said it simply a change of mind experienced as an expression of love. They are not spectacles aimed at persuading the unbelieving to have faith. Life is composed of ordinary miracles – moments when we act in accordance with the simple but powerful love embodied by Jesus and activated in our own lives through our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

This runs counter to what a lot of Christians believe. Pointing to biblical miracles – Moses parting the red sea, Jesus walking on water and so forth – they see miracles as intentional interruptions in the laws of physics. Miracles testify both to God’s power and to God’s capacity for intervention. We are not alone! And Christians, of course, are hardly the only people on the planet susceptible to that sort of magical thinking. The desire that there be some judge, some actor who is outside of time and space yet yields an influence within time and space is quite pervasive. We all fall prey to it. We all do.

But I don’t think it needs to be so dramatic. And I certainly don’t think it needs to be complicated. When we make miracles the right of the spiritually advanced only, then we are really denying in a very fundamental way the presence of God in all our lives all the time. We are really falling for the idea – a very painful idea – that we are separate from God but that certain exclusive individuals, like Jesus or the Buddha or Saint Paul or whomever – are not excluded. We set up these relationships and they are all based on separation – you from me, both of us from Jesus, and all of us from God. It’s very hurtful and very impractical.

What happens when we begin to simplify miracles? When we begin to see them at work in our lives in small ways – mainly as decision to be kind or loving where we might otherwise have been indifferent or mean? I think if we are honest we have to say there is a revolutionary capacity in this type of miracle. It’s true we long for something cinematic but that sort of grandiose thinking isn’t going to get us anywhere. Yet we can always hold a door open. Or smile at a kid on the elevator. Or listen carefully when we’d rather ignore someone. And so forth. All of that is not big and flashy – maybe it is not even romantic – but it transforms our day. It transforms the day of others, too.

We are really here to be kind – to make manifest the love of God in a real way. A Course in Miracles┬áposes the question in a very simple and direct way. “Christ . . . would bring peace to everyone, and how can He do this except through you (T-18.IV.A.2:7-8)?” Saint Paul said something similar in his second letter to the Corinthians: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us.”

It is ordinary miracles that render us ambassadors of and for Christ, men and women capable of bringing that non-judgmental and all-inclusive love into the world to share with everyone without exception. There’s nothing glitzy to it. It won’t make us famous and it won’t make us rich. But it’s okay because it makes us loved. Through the gift of these miracles – softer than a breeze, lighter than a grain of sand – the world is remade the Kingdom of Heaven, for all of us.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Wendy September 18, 2012, 2:56 am

    My life recently has been like walking toward a very large mosaic. The closer you get, the better able you are to see that each leaf, each subtle shading is, in fact,, thousands of tinier bits of color. The ordinary miracles you speak of are similar. Every moment of awareness, connection, kindness, peace adds another bit of color to the bigger picture.

    • Sean Reagan September 18, 2012, 1:09 pm

      That’s a great way of putting it Wendy, how each element is part of a larger whole . . . thank you for reading . . . Sean

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