Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Miracles -- Writer's Poke #229

I've never witnessed a miracle, and I bet you haven't, either.

Miracle is one of those terms we sometimes use rather loosely. We talk, for instance, about the "miracle of birth." Certainly the birth of a child can fill us with wonder, which relates to the Latin origin of the term, but based on the current world population, I'm not sure that childbirth can by any means qualify as extraordinary.

Is experiencing the universe an extraordinary event? Now I can go along with that, but I like my miracles to be more personal, more specific. You know, like the Catholic church's requirement that a person perform three miracles to be eligible for sainthood. In that case, the mere fact that the universe happens to exist would then no longer qualify as a miracle. Experiencing natural existence isn't enough.

A miracle would be more like David Copperfield making the Empire State Building disappear, or Jesus feeding the masses with a few fish and loaves of bread. And that kind of stuff ain't miraculous; it's just smoke and mirrors.

Have you experienced a miracle?

"It's not that I don't believe in miracles, but I never quite believe that they're real." -- Mariel Hemingway

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