for release Friday July 25, 2003
by Melodie Davis
Every Day - A Miracle
My husband and I occasionally treat ourselves to breakfast out on Saturday morning at an authentic old diner that still sits by a real railroad track. The conversation with other locals there is as important as the food. Early one warm June morning, we stepped inside only to be greeted by a blast of hot air: the condenser on the air conditioner had failed and they were temporarily without air conditioning. It was a lot cooler outside. But the waitress was cheerful with an ever-present smile and a man scooted over one seat to make room for a two-some at the counter. So we came on in.
"So what 'cha got going on today?" the man next to us inquired in the friendly way that is standard behavior in that place.
"We're taking a load of shrubbery clippings to the dump, and hope to make another trip if it doesn't rain," my husband responded. "It's a miracle it's not rainy this morning," he added gratefully since our area has been deluged this spring/summer with an uncharacteristic monsoon season. "Oh every day is a miracle," said the man beside us and I thought, what a nice, poetic present for the day, and sent my own thanks to God not only for the sunshine but the blessing of a new day.
* * *
On another day, this one cold and snowy in February, I witnessed another kind of miracle. My niece Cindy had several bouts of sudden, profuse bleeding during the latter months of her pregnancy. She had to stay in bed, not moving much for about six weeks because of a condition known as placenta previa. This was hard for a woman during the Christmas season who had always been happiest when she was busy, working on her feet most of the day in management for a popular shopping warehouse.
We prayed that the baby, whom they had already named Andrew, would just hang on and wait until he was at least eight months along to be born. The final time his mother started bleeding, the doctors decided to do an emergency C-section; even so he was blue and in critical condition for the first day.
By the time I saw him the next evening, he looked to me like any normal healthy baby and I felt like I was seeing a miracle. Of course all babies are miracles in their conception when you think of all the conditions and timing that have to be just right for actual fertilization, implantation and healthy growth of a new life. But the normally safe and nurturing placenta and womb had betrayed him, threatening an early and unsafe birth. And so Andrew's safe arrival was indeed a miracle.
* * *
A woman from our church, LaRue Cornish, tells a story of traveling with a group of church folks in Mexico on a mission trip. One day they were making an excursion, and she and some other women packed 20 sandwiches for the picnic they would have. Their host pastor urged them to take a side trip to a village where the church had visited the previous year. When they arrived in the village, the host pastor of the tour group graciously invited this additional group of villagers to join them in their picnic. LaRue panicked. There was no way, she said, that the 20 sandwiches would feed the whole crowd now. But they got out the food and somehow, it stretched; everyone had food, and everyone seemed to have enough. LaRue said she still gets a funny feeling inside her when she thinks about how that food stretched. Maybe every meal is a miracle: bread, meat, fruit and vegetable turn miraculously into the vitamins, minerals and protein we need to keep living.
* * *
Do we cheapen the "M" word by overuse? Aren't each of these happenings just ordinary events of nature and circumstance? Maybe, but we cheapen much of Divine activity in the world by failing to acknowledge how much of ordinary life we take for granted.
For a free copy of my book, Why Didn't I Raise Radishes: Finding God in the Everyday, write to: Melodie Davis, Another Way c/o Name\Address of YOUR newspaper; or e-mail: Melodie@mennomedia.org.
You can also visit Another Way on the Web at www.thirdway.com.
Melodie Davis is the author of seven books and has written her column since 1987. She taught feature writing and has won awards from the National Federation of Press Women, Virginia Press Women and the American Advertising Association. She and her husband have three daughters.
NOTES TO EDITORS: text =682 words; end material = 105 words
We would appreciate it if you would include the "Globe Syndicate" bug at the end of the column.
©2003 by Globe Syndicate, all rights reserved.
Return to Another Way