Believe that it will come to be even though in this moment it looks like it will not.
Believe in the amazing. Miracles. Little ones. Big ones.
If we don’t see the amazing, does that mean it doesn’t exist? Being able to see what is there in the seeming emptiness reminds me of the photos scientists took of the ‘empty’ space in the sky. When they probed deeper into those spaces they found that within every dust-size speck from earth’s perspective were a thousand galaxies… numerous galaxies in a speck believed to be empty. How many ‘empty’ spaces can one see in a clear night sky? How many specks of dust would fit into those vast spaces? How many galaxies, planets, stars, moons? It’s amazing.
How much do we have yet to understand?
It seems that sometimes even those of us whose hope has been tinged with cynicism or those of us who are cautious and skeptical are gifted with sight… and we see what was there all the time. Miracles. Things, events, experiences that ‘violate the laws of nature’ as David Hume defined a miracle.
Miracles seem often to be quite personal. Suddenly you find yourself in the presence of the amazing. A person in a brilliant flash sees their life as it really is and walks away from the alcohol, drugs, gambling, addictions. A baby ‘beats the odds’ and lives when the parents are told he will not make it through the night.
Several years ago I got a severe bout of the flu. I was under tremendous stress related to managing a huge work project that was on deadline. I was managing home life as a single parent. It was also Christmas time. I was sick all day and into the night, growing weaker with each passing hour. I knew something was going wrong beyond the flu and I reached out to a friend to come and watch my sleeping children so that I could get myself to the emergency room at the hospital.
It turned out that my system was massively overstressed and additionally weakened from the hours of vomiting. The medical team got the vomiting to stop but I had developed a rapid heart rate and irregular heartbeat at the same time; this is what I had felt at home. My heart rate and irregularity were at dangerous levels. Normally, I have the resting heart rate ‘of an athlete’ and low blood pressure but an illness and other contributing factors can bring on a reaction like this.
Cardiologists were called in and couldn’t get my system to respond. They finally made a decision to use a defibrillator, which is apparently quite dangerous to use on a conscious person. One of the risks that they informed me about (and I had to sign consent forms) was that I stood a good chance of having a stroke, among other things. But if they didn’t get my heart back to normal I would suffer devastating consequences or would die. It was the choice of no choice. They called in their senior cardiologist from home as he needed to authorize the procedure in a case like this.
I signed the forms and was prepped. I talked to my oldest child, my daughter, by phone. My pastor had come to the ER and was allowed to come in to see me before they wheeled me out to another room where they could deal with any issues that occurred during the procedure. Everything had been done that could be done, or had it? Medical staff were in the room as I asked my pastor to pray for me. He prayed that my heart would return to normal and that I would be well. As he said ‘Amen’ the monitors in the room signaled a change. All the medical staff started talking to each other. ‘What is it?’ I asked. They turned to me, incredulous. Everything in my system immediately, in that single second, had returned to fully normal. They monitored me for a considerable time after that but I remained stable. Everyone was visibly relieved that they hadn’t had to go through with it. A physician told me that they do everything they can and, then, sometimes there are miracles; things that just defy everything they know. He told me that I got one. I agreed. (After being monitored for a year following and annual exams, my heart and system have had no lasting effects whatsoever from this incidence.)
A person could argue with me that it was coincidence that my heart returned to normal at the precise moment that my pastor prayed, but then my entire life would be a massive coincidence, yet that I was somehow also participating in. I have seen too many things come together as a direct result of faith, prayer, a hope kept alive. I see countless things that can only be described as amazing, as miracles. And we get to participate in them.
It is your heart fiercely believing with indomitable hope and faith that the person you love will one day awaken from their addiction and allow the waves of pain that they’ve been numbing to wash through them, cleaning and healing the wounds… and one day, long after you have opened your hands and set them free, they do. And kindness and love blossom.
It is the unrelenting hope that someone you care about will choose love instead of getting what they want at any cost to others; one day you pick up the phone and hear their voice filled with humble awareness; they have suddenly seen themselves and with a newly broken heart have discovered a powerful longing to learn to love… and you begin to see the person you had glimpsed behind the façade come to life.
It’s the experience of a reality that isn’t what you see and touch… and yet is. You begin to see that your ‘physical’ reality is only part of the world. It’s coming to know that when you take your hands off the wheel and pray for truth, for guidance, for what you need to believe, to see, to know the miracles of life, that Someone takes the wheel and your life becomes a miracle. You discover your heart’s longings, move toward them without seeing where, or if, they will meet you yet feeling guidance, and what you long for rises up to meet you… seemingly waiting for you, and yet, it couldn’t have been there all the time, could it?
You can’t exactly explain the numerous and increasingly ‘cool’ things that you experience as you give up more and more control but in the uneasiness of not knowing how or when things are going to happen, you know that it will be alright. And your heart bursts open with the knowledge that you are living IN a miracle. And you pray to simply be awake, eyes wide open, to see and to know what is always there. Love. Miraculous, healing, amazing love coming toward you, longing for you even more than you long for it, moving in you, transforming you.
There is an essential knowing that has come to define my existence that doesn’t need religion or a building or a structure to be known. This knowing has come from leaning into a belief with a seed of faith: simply that God is Love, not ‘is loving’ but is Love. That all the things he is, the many names, all come from the essential character, intent, act, being, of who he is… Love. Entering into love is entering into God. One cannot enter in and remain unchanged. So is the power of Love to change the world. Love is always asking, inviting. Answer Love’s question and all other questions find their answers.
And with every day of knowing Love more it gets clearer that what I know about love is only a fraction of how much there is, how much I can learn, experience, understand. It’s not dangling in front of me like a carrot to taunt me but is a gift within my reach, a miracle that every part of me was meant to long for, was made for, is moved to seek with all of my heart. And as I do, Love whispers the beautiful promise to my heart… ‘I will be found by you.’ Amazing.