On Miracles-and one I witnessed


“Miracle” is the word we give to unusual events for which we have no explanation. To dismiss the possibility of a miracle is absurd for the following reason:

Unusual events do occur for which we have no explanation. An airplane flying over a remote village of hunter-gatherers is an unusual event for which they have no explanation. We have an explanation, but to them it meets the definition of a miracle. Perhaps we enlightened folks simply do not yet know, perhaps will never know, how any given unusual event occurred-that does not make it a delusion anymore than the airplane flying over the village is an delusion.

Thomas Jefferson admired Jesus, but as a true Enlightenment man, he did not like miracles. So he made his own Bible, cutting out all references to miracles and retaining the moral teachings.

Little children have no problem with miracles. To them, the water coming out of the faucet is a miracle. The child sees it as an object and tries to grasp it, but her hand goes right through. I have watched numerous babies do this at bath time and it’s always fun to watch. They squeeze their chubby little fingers over and over trying to grab the water. They are thinking so hard you can almost smell the wood burning, seeking an explanation for this unusual event. They seem to file it away under “cool things I can’t explain” and splash around in the water, having a good time anyway.

Jesus once said, in one of his more ignored passages, that unless we change and become like little children, we cannot see the kingdom of God. When I first became a Christian, I was like a little child. Then I went through a stage where I thought I knew everything and have now have progressed to being like a little child again.

While in my first child-like stage I witnessed a miracle. I was doing the shopping for an elderly woman named Ruthie, because I simply thought that’s the kind of thing a Christian would do. Her bones were brittle and when I went to her apartment one afternoon, she had a broken foot. It was black and swollen twice the normal size. I wanted to take her to the hospital, but she refused.

In my child-like mind, there was no problem. I would call some other Christians, we would pray and God would heal her foot. I did so. While the other two women prayed, I peeked. I watched her foot turn pink and shrink to normal size. It took perhaps three minutes. They told her to get out of bed and walk around. She did so. She stomped her foot and laughed. This was an unusual event for which there is no ready explanation; what we would call a miracle.

I notice that other miracles of healing today are dismissed as nonsense. I am often skeptical myself. When the proposed miraculous healing is backed up by doctor reports, it is dismissed as the Placebo Effect, therefore no good. I say if the Placebo Effect actually results in a cure, let’s look into this Placebo Effect. Why not? Drug companies won’t make any profit?

Dismissing miracles because we can’t explain them, is not only irrational, it is arrogant.

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”- Albert Einstein

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