Miracles for all

StormSept52014This is the full definition of miracle according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

  1. : an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
  2. : an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
  3. 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.

  1. And explosion of awe (often accompanied by a feeling of joy) upon experiencing something beautiful, wonderful or inexplicable
  2. The awareness of the complexity of life and everything in it
  3. Deep gratitude for the privilege of being alive in this time and place knowing that you could have just as easily not been.
  4. 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.

All they have is money

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.”