You are the miracle
Have you ever felt like you needed a miracle? In the midst of calamities global and local, shared, and private, we wish we could change the world; or at least some small part of it, but big problems can make us feel insignificant or powerless to help.
What can we do when it feels like it would take a miracle to make a difference? Perhaps the answer lies in something a theologian and physician, Albert Schweitzer once said: “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”
The fact is that ordinary people do wonderful things all over the world. At the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, private individuals renovate wards and theatres to save lives. At the Accra Psychiatric Hospital at Asylum Down, compassionate people deliver food items such as rice, oil and also clothing to the inmates who have run out of food. And in orphanages across the country, volunteers teach while others provide food and essentials to the children in those facilities, helping them prepare for success in their new home. There are various examples of people serving others which is catching on and spreading across the globe.
What might happen if you tried doing some small, wonderful things? It is possible that your kindness, generosity of spirit, or simply your willingness to help others could spread beyond the person you set out to bless; it may also touch others in your family, among your friends, and in your community. Just as a seed grows into something much bigger than itself, your act of kindness might make a difference much greater than you expected. That would be a miracle.
When we refuse to get entangled in a social media argument or quarrel, when we stop what we’re doing and listen to someone who’s anxious or distressed, when we reach out to someone who’s alone, when we say something encouraging or hopeful any act of kindness can be contagious. Even a smile and a compliment can catch on. And once people try being kind, they often feel so good, they continue it. We never really know how far-reaching each of these small acts of love can be.
God is a God of miracles. He often does intervene to bless His children. And it may be that the next miracle He has in mind will start with you. So, when you find yourself thinking it would take a miracle to change the world for the better, consider being that miracle.
Every year during the Christmas holiday season, we ponder the miracle of the Christmas story. And it certainly is a miraculous story; with angelic visions, a King born in a stable, and a bright new star in the sky. But do miracles belong only to stories from history, or do they still happen today? If one were to look for modern miracles, perhaps there’s no better place to look than this magical time of year, the Christmas season.
Miracles take many forms, of course, and many of them are subtle and quiet. But who can say that miracles of forgiving and trusting others, of exercising faith in the face of despair and doubt, are less powerful than a visit from an angel?
Consider, for example, the Christmas miracle of reaching out to a long-lost friend. Recently, one man was determined to find again a dear friend he had not seen in more than 25 years. They now lived thousands of miles apart, but when business took the man near his friend’s town, he drove two hours to try to meet him. Sadly, he wasn’t home, but the man was able to get his phone number, and they finally were able to talk with each other for the first time in decades. What a joyous reunion! They reconnected, they wondered why they had let so much time go by, and they committed to stay in touch.
Christmas is a time for reconnecting—with family, with friends, and with God. It is a time to rekindle faith, and that’s what makes Christmas such a miraculous season. After all, a miracle is an act of faith. And faith is so much more than wishful and positive thinking. Faith is loving, giving, and gathering in the face of opposition; faith is celebrating in the midst of heartache; faith is enjoying the wonder of this season even when life may not seem very wonderful.
Do angels still appear at Christmas time? Yes, and you and I can be the angel. In a simple but very real way, we can be the bright star that guides weary travellers with heavenly light and love, with renewed friendship and faith. What miracle could be more precious at Christmas time?
By Samuel Enos Eghan