The Nature of Miracles

(image via Guillaume De Germain)

(image via Guillaume De Germain)

I remember my first miracle. I was about seven at the time. My uncle, who was a dental student, had made me a small gold initial ring, cast from wax, and measured to my finger. It was his way of practicing working with wax casting and gold. Because I loved my uncle and this was a very special gift, the ring became my most prize possession. I was always cleaning it, playing with it, inspecting its beauty. I truly loved the ring.

One day, while in my backyard, I looked down to discover the ring had somehow slipped from my finger. I was horrified. Somewhere in a field of about an acre lay my small gold jewelry. I looked, and looked and looked…all to no avail. Desperate and filled with a child’s naiveté, I had one sudden, urgent thought. I thought, “If I could believe hard enough then I could find my ring.” So I picked up a beach ball and started to spin. I kept thinking, “If I pray hard enough, and throw this ball then when it lands I will find my ring.” I spun and prayed and spun and prayed…twirling until I was dizzy and exhausted. Then in one huge burst of energy I threw the ball as high as I could. It bounced off a tree, rolled up onto a hill, paused, gathered steam and rolled back down into the middle of the field. There it stopped in a place I had previously combed a number of times.

When I stooped down to pick up my ball, lying underneath was my ring. Amazing. At seven it all seemed so normal and uncomplicated. As if the message was, “Of course. This is how it works.” Sadly as I have gotten older and wiser, the world has become more complicated and less magical. But in this experiential seed, sits my first real lesson in miracles.

It is this.

There are two types of miracles. The first are those where we cannot explain what has happened. The sudden health of a dying man, the extra-human strength of a trapped mother and child, the appearance of a spirit or deity to provide guidance or hope. For me these are quite rare, if they have, in fact, ever occurred at all.

But there is a more frequent kind of miracle that I often don’t account for or appreciate. Yet in my new thinking they are still miracles and need to be appreciated and acknowledged for just that. They are defined not for “what” occurs but “when” they occur that deserves gratitude and awareness. The rent check that arrives just in time, the unplanned visit to a doctor that discovers hidden but still treatable cancer, the phone call from a long lost friend in a time of personal crisis—these are all examples of a more frequent form of miracle.

As with the appearance of my ring underneath the beach ball, many could argue that these are just a coincidence. But I wish to postulate that coincidence may have a different role to play other than just a random act of chance. I am beginning to believe that the primary role of coincidence is to be a sophisticated and complex language form. A form used by spirit to communicate its support and infinite love.

This language is primarily a response; a response to a larger need, expressed by us to the mystery. Sometimes we start the conversation with grief, sometimes with fear, sometimes with a deep sense of loss, sometimes with unknown awareness and sometimes, as when I was a child, through the language of belief. And it is belief, pure and unfettered, that I believe opens the door to manifesting miracles of timing and synchronicity. Belief, without reservation, is the initial knock on the door that allows spirit to open to a greater form of support and guidance. Belief is our language form, our words, our structure for communication. Coincidence, the when of a miracle, is the spoken response that comes from God.