Seek the miraculous in ordinary life

By KRIS SHEARER Columnist Published:

"All the works of Nature are Miracles, and nothing makes them appear otherwise but our Familiarity with them." -- Samuel Butler, from Prose Observations.

How true that is. Think about it: Every autumn the leaves wither and fall from the trees; perennial plants turn brown and droop. These life forms all lie under a blanket of snow all winter, presumed "dead." Then each spring, before our eyes, the dead limbs sprout new green leaves and the faded and dreary plants blossom again. Something once assumed dead regenerates. Is that not miraculous?

If you take a piece of paper and tear it, you can repair it with tape; but if you remove the tape, the paper is still torn. Not so with our bodies. If I cut myself right now, my blood will coagulate, carrying cells with healing properties rushing into my bloodstream to the damaged area, reaching out to each other to grow back together. Within a few days, without any interference from me other than keeping the wound clean so my body can do its job, the cut would completely heal.

When my son was young, he fell off a trampoline and broke his wrist. The doctor didn't have to use screws or glue, as I would have had to if my table leg had broken; all he had to do was wrap the wrist in a plaster cast, keeping it immobile so the body could do its job, and the bones knit back together of their own accord.

And these are miracles of only the physical body. After my daughter's accident, she had numerous physical injuries, but also emotional scars that needed to heal. Her body healed rather quickly, but it healed so fast (she walked WEEKS before she was expected to) because she had made up her mind that she was going to push through the pain and walk!

We live in difficult times, times when we believe miracles no longer exist. But, living in our sensationalistic world, we fail to realize that we are surrounded by miracles every single day. We just fail to see them.

It is miraculous that a bumblebee can even fly. From what we know of physics, it should be impossible for the bumblebee to fly due to its body structure. But a bumblebee does, indeed, fly. It's a miracle. Birds somehow "know" they must fly south for the winter, bears "know" they must hibernate during cold weather, squirrels "know" they must store food for winter. How is that not miraculous? I know some humans who don't "know" they shouldn't kill people or steal their stuff! Yet we consider ourselves the "superior" species when the animal kingdom behaves much more miraculously, and more often, than we do.

I believe there are two kinds of people in our skeptical world -- those who choose to view nothing as a miracle, and those who choose to seek the miraculous in ordinary life. I know which one I aspire to be.

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