October 2017

Noticing Miracles


Not long ago I had the opportunity to hold a baby that was just a few weeks old. I know it shouldn’t surprise me, but I always forget how small and fragile a baby appears. I realise that it was ‘only’ 20 and 17 years ago respectively that Rebecca and Sebastian were so small, but when I see my children now, and especially when Sebastian towers down on me from his over 6 feet in height, I forget they started their lives so small and light that I could have lifted each of them in one hand.
A new born baby is a miracle.

And to this mother who had been through a hard delivery and, was for a while, in danger of losing the baby, the wonder, the amazement, was even more profound. Even though she was still struggling to recover from the birth, her profound gratitude for her ‘little bundle of joy’ was overwhelming.
A new born baby is indeed a miracle.

But there are other events that are miraculous that seem to pass us by. The miracle of the every day has come back to me so forcefully when in the last few weeks we have seen the devastation of the hurricanes in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and the even more devastating monsoon and floods in south Asia (though the Asian floods barely got mentioned on the news in comparison). To see people who have lost everything, many who started out with little, can give both a sense of compassion (and I gave a donation via Christian Aid) but also a sense of thankfulness for all that we do have.

It seems that for most of us, most of the time it is only during these profound moments of life that we recognise the miracles that are right before our eyes. It is in the stark contrast of life, birth, death, and devastation that, at least for me, demonstrates the miracle of the abundance of good things that inhabit my life. My wife, my children, my health, the food on the table (and in the biscuit tin), the first cup of coffee before I’m really awake, the warm house and the bed to snuggle into on a cold night, my comfortable shoes and clothes, the view out onto the back garden from the study window. If I bothered to think about them the list would go on and on.

I recognise that not all of the above are permanent and that the lack of any one of them (or even of all of them) doesn’t signify that we are not blessed. As one person said on a TV interview, standing in the middle of the rubble that just a day or so before was his home, with bandages and obviously in some pain, “I’ve lost everything, but there is always another day, aren’t I blessed that I’m still alive!”

God makes miracles every day and every minute of every day. I wonder if we are grateful. Give thanks for your everyday miracles to God, the creator and sustainer of life.


October 2017