This is the full definition of miracle according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.
- : an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
- : an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
- Christian Science: a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law
This definition explains a traditional view of miracles as something supernatural and divinely generated, belonging only to the theists in the crowd. But what about people who don’t believe in a deity? Don’t they get to experience miracles too? I say they do.
Here is my full definition of a miracle.
- And explosion of awe (often accompanied by a feeling of joy) upon experiencing something beautiful, wonderful or inexplicable
- The awareness of the complexity of life and everything in it
- Deep gratitude for the privilege of being alive in this time and place knowing that you could have just as easily not been.
- Extending this sense of awe, joy, awareness and gratitude to everything and everyone you encounter
Miracles belong to everyone. You only need to be willing to recognize them.
This week a friend and I went to dinner at a downtown restaurant. The week has been especially cold with the nighttime temperatures approaching -30C.
As we neared the restaurant a very thin young man dressed only in jeans, a sweatshirt and a knit hat asked us if we had a bus ticket we could give him.
Without hesitating I reached into my wallet for one. As I was doing this, the young man explained that he hated to ask for money but wanted to get to the overnight homeless shelter. I gave him the ticket and a $5 bill. He whooped with happiness and gave me a hug thanking me over and over and over. He exclaimed, “Now I can go inside and have a coffee first and get warm!” I wished him a good night and he rushed off up the street to a coffee shop.
My friend turned to me with a curious expression and before he could say anything I told him “That’s why I always carry cash.”
He replied, “You’re more generous than I am. You won’t get rich giving it away.”
I answered, “I am already rich because I know I have enough to share. Those other people you call “rich”? All they have is money.”