The Mystery of Miracles

The title of my doctoral thesis submitted in 1998, was “The Mystery of Miracles.” It’s a subject that has fascinated me, causing me to continue studying it, ever since.  Do we still believe in miracles?  What would a miracle for our time be like?  Would it have to do with healing, or being saved from a possible catastrophe, or finding a long lost friend or relative? Do small miracles count, or must it be some life-changing event? If you ask ten people, “What is a miracle?” you will very likely get ten different answers.

Consider, for instance, how science and religion each deals with the subject of miracles. Since miracles cannot be explained by natural law, one of the idols of science, many scientists say they do not exist. The church, on the other hand,assumes that miracles are acts of God and as such need not be scientifically studied. The religious do not want science to shake religion; the scientists do not want religioun to shake science.

Do miracles exist? Instead of looking for a burning bush or a parting of the sea, perhaps we should inspect the everyday world around us for evidence of the miraculous. And as we walk the uncertain ground between science and religion, we must keep our wits about us.  If a healer lays hands on an inflamed joint and the next day the joint is no longer inflamed, this does not necessarily signify that the healer did the healing. Because many people who study psychic phenomena do poor reality testing, realistic observers often conclude that psychic phenomena do not exist. Such is not the case but we must not let our critical faculties be dazzled by the brilliant beauty of the spiritual realm.

Most religions recognize a miracle called grace. Nobody knows exactly what it is, but everybody knows there are times when things turn out right against the odds, when we sense the hovering presence of a transcendental rescue unit whose operations cannot be explained by natural law.  It seems endless miracles remain. The human mind, which is capable of believing that there is no such thing as a miracle, is itself a miracle and an evidence of grace.  I believe grace is everywhere, available to everyone, but unfortunately not everyone sees that is is there. How many times have we looked the other way while a miracle was passing by?  I once heard a minister say, “God often visits us, but most of the time we are not home.”

t the la     © Dick Caldwell 2012