Looking for Miracles in All the Wrong Places

I just read a piece by Margaret Silf in America Magazine (as usual I’m behind in my magazine reading) that talks about miracles. Silf makes an interesting observation. Perhaps, she says, the problem we have with miracles “is that we try to get at them from the wrong end. We strive to see the end of the miracle – the great transformation, the unexpected cure, the new life where there was none before. But we very rarely notice the start of the miracle.”

Because we are looking in the wrong place, Silf continues, we fail to see the “almost invisible beginnings of the miraculous all around us.” In contrast, if we stop looking for the big, final, monumental thing we call a miracle, we will be able to see “for example, how a word of encouragement turns a whole life around from despair to hope or how an apparent misfortune can open our minds to fresh perspectives and change the direction of our lives.”

As I read her words, the thought that came was that if we just sit around looking for the big bang, we not only miss the first signs in front of our eyes, but we miss the opportunity to participate in the creation of miracles ourselves.

Sigh. Sure, there is a part of me that would like to say, “Hey God, how about a miracle here so no one is starving and no one goes to war and all those with diseases are cured, and….” It would sure make things a lot easier for us. But that is not the way it seems to work.

I had a bumper sticker on my car that read “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Perhaps the better message is, “Create the miracle you wish to see in the world.”