Rediscovering Amazement

24 02 2011

From where I write I can see seven miracles. White-crested waves slap the beach with rhythmic regularity. One after the other the rising swells of salt water gain momentum, rising, then standing to salute the beach before crashing onto the sand. How many billions of times has this simple mystery repeated itself since time began? In the distance lies a miracle of colours —twins of blue. The ocean-blue of the Atlantic encounters the pale blue of the sky, separated only by the horizon, stretched like a taut wire between two poles. Also within my eyesight are the two bookends of life. A young mother pushes a baby in a carriage, both recent participants with God in the miracle of birth. They pass a snowy-haired, stooped old gentleman seated on a bench, a victim of life’s thief—age. (I wonder if he is aware of the curtain closing on his life.) Behind them are three boys kicking a soccer ball on the beach. With effortless skill they coordinate countless muscles and reflexes, engage and disengage perfectly designed joints … all to do one task—move a ball in the sand.

Miracles. Divine miracles. These are miracles because they are mysteries. Scientifically explainable? Yes. Reproducible? To a degree. But still they are mysteries. Events that stretch beyond our understanding and find their origins in another realm. They are as much a reminder of God’s presence. They are miracles. They are signs. They are testimonies. They are instantaneous incarnations. They remind us of the same truth: The unseen is clearly visible. The distant has drawn near. The majesty of God is not hidden. And he is in the most common of earth’s corners.

In fact, it is the normality not the uniqueness of God’s miracles that causes them to be so staggering. Rather than shocking the globe with an occasional random demonstration of deity, God has opted to display his power daily. Proverbially. Pounding waves. Prism-cast colors. Birth, death, life. We are surrounded by miracles. God is throwing evidence at us like fireworks, each one exploding, “God is! God is!” The psalmist marvelled at such handiwork. “Where can I hide from your Spirit?” he questioned with delight. “Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I go down to the depths of the ocean, you are there.” (Psalm 139: 7-8)

How is it, that with so many miraculous testimonies around us, we could escape God? But somehow we do. We live in an art gallery of divine creativity and yet are content to gaze only at the carpet. Or what is pathetically worse, we demand more. More signs. More proof. More hat tricks. As if God were some vaudeville magician we could summon for a dollar. How have we grown so deaf? How have we grown so immune to awesomeness? Why are we so reluctant to be staggered or thunderstruck?

Perhaps the frequency of the miracles blinds us to their beauty. After all, what spice is there in a springtime or a tree blossom? Don’t the seasons come every year? Aren’t there countless seashells just like this one? Bored, we say Ho-hum and replace the remarkable with the regular, the unbelievable with the anticipated. Science and statistics wave their un-magic wand across the face of life, squelching the oohs and aahs and replacing them with formulas and figures. Science can explain how – but it can never explain why.

Would you like to see God? Then rediscover amazement. The next time you hear a baby laugh or see an ocean wave, take note. Pause and listen as His Majesty whispers ever so gently, “I’m here.”

Max Lucado, God Came Near

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