Friday, March 5, 2010
Miracle Grow. Miracle Whip. Miracle Cream. Miracle bras. Gosh, I've tried them all and none of them seems to have worked. Are you like me? Do you want "poof", abracadabra, zip-zap changes in your life? Miracles. Now there's a provocative word. There are those of you who have witnessed miracles in your own lives---both physical and spiritual--and who believe wholeheartedly that complete transformation can happen. What is that? Is that faith? And then there are people like me who also have faith, but secretly and silently just can not buy in to that whole miracle stuff. Well, I used to couldn't. (Is that sentence even correct?) Ok, I used to didn't. That's better.
About five days after Taylor was born, a group of friends (not close friends, but friends none-the-less) called and asked us if they could come over to our house and pray over Taylor. Believe or not, I never turn down a good prayer, so I was anxious to say, "Of course." Not too long into out plan-making conversation, however, this friend told me that they were coming over to pray for Taylor's complete healing and restoration. Breathe. (I'm telling this to myself.) The Holy Huddlers were going to pray that Taylor's "genetic condition" would be "made right."
Let me just say that besides feeling like I was being kicked in the gut, I also began then to assume that I had done something wrong in giving birth to this less than perfect little baby boy. That was confirmed a bit later, when the leader of this powerful prayer group intimated that Taylor was "flawed" because I had sinned.
Well, heck yeah, I had "sinned." Get in line prayer lady friend. Wake up call: I'm human. (So was she; I just don't know if she had come to terms with that yet or not.) Anyway, if her premise was true, how come we all didn't have babies with Down Syndrome? For real. Following her logic did not take rocket science.
You guessed it. They didn't come. I wouldn't let them. Taylor was not healed. He was stuck with that same extra chromosome on his 21st pair---on all of the trillions of cells in his body. So... there was no miracle. Or.....was there?
I just love it how we decide what miracles look like and feel like. We get a firm and clear picture of a miracle in our heads and that image seems to be the only miracle option as far as we're concerned. We tell God (that name again) what to do and spell out the complete design of the miracle we have coming to us. We might as well just FAX it in. 'Cause,gosh, we all have the big picture on our screen savers at all times, don't we? It's got to make you chuckle on some level, doesn't it? Have you heard this too: Wanna make God laugh? Tell him your plans.
Miracles lie in wait--- is what I am thinking. They lie/lay/lain there until we are able to claim them in our very own way, for our very own lives, with our very own personalities and situations. The healing that happened in our house, happened not with Taylor's complete restoration, but with my own. I am going to say this honestly and completely: It was a miracle that I learned to love my child. Are you disappointed? (Were you hoping I had told you that he had thrown down his crutches and walked?) Does a mother's heart opening up completely and utterly after devastation constitute a miracle? Who can we call to check that one out? Who decides the miracle rules anyway?
You know, we sit around and wonder why the Arabs won't love the Jews (miracle?) and yet we won't even pick up the phone and call that relative that we can't stand. (Miracle call?) Do you think it's a miracle when your lonely child finds that one good friend to hang out with? Would it be a miracle if you heard yourself saying five incredibly kind words to a co-worker about whom you gossip? What about the miracle of the husband who has lost his beloved wife or a mother whose daughter was senselessly murdered or whose son was killed in Mosul? Isn't it a miracle that they are still willing to put on their shoes each day---and walk? A family who welcomes home the son they didn't want to be gay or the daughter whose harmful life choices have broken a parent's heart--is that acceptance not a complete miracle? So, here's what miraculous: Allowing our hearts to be stretched beyond what we could ever have imagined. Being radically open to dreams and experiences that were never even on our radar and that do not fit comfortably into our controlled little plan. Loving far beyond our human bounds and capacities---acceptance without walls--living an extraordinarily authentic life---being able to love unconditionally who is or what is in our lives.
Pretty darn miraculous.
How 'bout FAXING that one in?