As far as we know, humans have always been big on magic and miracles. Always big on believing that more is possible than what we were taught and what we have experienced. More than we logically assume. We humans have consistently at least wanted to believe that sometimes things happen which are outside the laws of nature. (Assuming, of course, that we understand all the laws of nature which is a big honkin’ assumption.) We call these miraculous happenings “acts of God.” Or “unexplained phenomena.” California La-la’s or those who spent too much time in the 60’s might call them “alien-induced,” “mind-controlled” or “vortex spin-offs.”
The truth is, of course, that we understand very little of the life that goes on around and within us each and every moment. We say that we’re alive because our heart pumps blood and our lungs pump air. But anyone who has been through 7th grade science knows that millions of other processes have to be constantly happening to keep us even upright, much less, conversant, cognitive, cool and cocky. A case could be easily made that each of us and each part of us – from goatee to gonad to goober – is pure miracle. Each of us, a walking, talking miraculous goofball.
In December, lots of different folk in Western Culture (is that an oxymoron?) celebrate miracles.
Jesus: Hey Mom, Western Civilization followed me home. Can I keep it?
Mary: No! Put it down and wash your hands. You don’t know where it’s been.
Jews celebrate the miracle of an oil lamp that burned eight days on less oil that it takes to sauté an anchovy. They call this celebration, “Hanukah.”
Christians celebrate the miracle birth of a baby god who was conceived without the benefit of man or sperm. They call this, “Christmas.”
Wiccans celebrate the miraculous return of the sun to the higher sky on the “Solstice.”
Folks of African heritage celebrate the miracle of home, love and community and call it “Kwanza.”
Almost everybody celebrates the miracle of a new year and miraculous possibilities which lie in store.
And Christians, with “Epiphany,” celebrate three pagan astrologers who followed a star to find what they thought would be “King of the Jews,” but was actually a very humble baby named Jesus.
So many magical miracles to celebrate. So little time. But, just maybe, each of these magical miracles points to something beyond itself. Maybe each of these unexplained and unexplainable phenomena holds up a wise, ancient finger and points to the stars, to the galaxies, to the oceans and rivers, to the jet stream and Gulf Stream, to our hearts, to our DNA, to love.
Perhaps each of these ancient stories is there to be celebrated as a reminder that we are all part of an ancient, magical miracle story. A grand and gory, glorious and ghastly story. A story of crushing pathos and irrepressible joy. A story of blunder and wonder, each and all magically miraculous. Each and all, marvelous.
The point of each of these A.H.S.C.K.NY.E. miracles just might be to remind us that we are all acts of God. We are all unexplained phenomena. We are all oily, home-loving, star-following, light shining miracle births.