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Rector's Reflection: Everyday Miracles, February 3, 2024


Beloved Members of St. Martin’s,

 

Our gospel this week features Jesus praying and performing healing miracles. He cures Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever—and she gets up and serves Jesus and his friends, who are her guests. And then the whole countryside starts bringing their sick loved ones to Simon and Andrew’s door—all hoping to receive the miracle of healing and restoration to community that only Jesus can provide.

 

In our day, some read stories like this and feel disconnected. It’s commonly said that miracles don’t exist, that prayer doesn’t matter, that science—or at least technology-- has an answer for everything, so who needs God?

 

But I am reminded of a story from this week, 9 years ago, in 2015. There was an article in the paper about a 14-year-old boy who fell through the ice on Martin Luther King day in Lake St. Louis. He was under the frigid water for at least fifteen minutes. He had no pulse—yet the EMTs continued to work on him and transported him to the hospital. His body temperature was in the 80s. They could not re-establish a pulse for 43 minutes. Yet the medical team kept trying. Finally, the emergency room physician—whose daughter was a classmate of the stricken boy—called in the mother to say goodbye, and she began praying loudly. And so, mere days later, he walked out of the hospital, rather than being buried. And five years later, a movieBreakthrough—was made about this incredible miracle.

 

For this family, THIS is a miracle—whether you attribute it to the perseverance of the rescuers and medical staff, or to the prayers of the mother, or both.

 

Miracles often slip in amongst us on cats’ feet. It is up to us to recognize them. After a night of watching and waiting, the sun comes up in glory. A baby is born to people who were told that their arms would be empty forever. A teen comes to believe that her family’s dysfunction is not destiny, and determines to break the cycles that have held her family in bondage. Tires scrabble for purchase on a rain-slicked street, but grab hold at the last moment. A stranger’s arm comes out and pulls a man back from being flattened by a careening bus. A person with dementia sees a loved one enter the room and remembers them. Strangers rush to help and comfort the victims of a car crash in the middle of nowhere. All miracles.

 

People who cannot afford to pay for laundry get help getting their clothes cleaned once a month—and also get companionship and conversation. Hungry people can walk up to a box and get a few canned goods or gloves without having to justify their need. Homebound people get visited and nourished with communion and connection. Grieving people receive a listening ear and comfort. Others struggling to feed their families get fresh produce from a garden lovingly cared for. All of these are miracles, too.

 

Miracles are all around us. In what ways can we ourselves be and see miracles in the world all around us this day, and every day?

 

In Christ,

Mother Leslie

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