Bird Droppings December 18, 2022
Waiting for a miracle
I wrote this piece nearly twenty years ago, and it still has a place in my heart. Miracle is a word used often by people of faith. It explains things that happen with no apparent cause and/or rationale. We all sit waiting for miracles, perhaps waiting for that solution to show itself, and poof, all will be better. So many times through history, events have happened that provide for the concept of miracles, and so many provide based on a lack of proof. Perhaps it is simply a matter of semantics or within a language of need. Each of us has occasionally found the bottom of the well, and a ladder has come for each time. For some, it has been hand-built from within the well piece by piece. For some others, they climbed out under their strength.
I recall a story of a farmer and his donkey I have seen somewhere in my readings. The farmer was so tired of the stubborn donkey that he threw it in the well and invited neighbors over to bury this mean, stubborn donkey. The well was filled in as the neighbors shoveled and shoveled. Amazingly, towards the final few shovels, a dirty donkey that had climbed a bit higher with each shovel of dirt jumped out and ran off. The farmer was left with a filled-in well and no donkey. Was that a miracle for the donkey? Perhaps we can also rationalize quick thinking and patience with the donkey, and who knows, maybe stubborn was the wrong word.
I recall a few years back when I spoke with several mothers, some by chance or synchronicity, as Jung calls it. Our washing machine died, and the repairman could not come till after the holiday, so I loaded a pile of dirty teenage laundry into my car and proceeded to wash or attempt to wash clothes at a laundering mat. Since this was my second sojourn, the first thing was finding my book from the other day; I asked the woman in charge, and she immediately went to her office and pulled my book out with a note attached. “Someone left this book, and I am sure will come back for it.” The book was “Teaching from the heart” by Sarah Day Hatton. Perhaps it was a small miracle that my book was still there, or was it more a Jungian thing leading to another step, another conversation.
It seems the woman who runs the Laundromat has an autistic son and when she found the book felt this was a book most people would not be reading, and it must be special to someone. We talked for nearly an hour as my clothes washed and dried, discussing how her seventeen-year-old son progressed. As I sat, another mother came in, a former student’s mother. Her washer had died as well. We talked about how her daughter was doing and progressing. Then I received a phone call on my cell phone from another mother who lost a son many years ago and is still looking and finding the pieces to her puzzle daily. We spoke for nearly thirty minutes as she talked about a story of a rope, scripture, devotion, and finding peace within herself and others. I often used James Redfield’s term coincidence and was corrected; I was told not a coincidence. I offered then synchronicity, perhaps as Jung says, and that word was more acceptable.
Timely meaningful happenings seemingly by chance, all in a short span of hours amazing how my family does not like to take me anywhere; I always end up meeting people and talking. I went looking this morning for one author and stumbled on another. It has been several years since I first read Care of the soul by Thomas Moore. Moore was a monk for thirteen years. He is an avid student and learner, gaining a Ph.D. in religion and psychology and a master’s in music and philosophy. Moore is a teacher, psychotherapist, and writer. He has a unique introspection on faith and life.
What amazes me each morning as I start is so often that I am unsure where it ends. Not necessarily a good lesson for teaching creative writing, but I am okay since I don’t do that. I started looking for a course in miracles and several lecturers who feature miracles in their writing. As I looked on a favorite site Thomas Moore is now a featured columnist, and I looked at his place. Thinking over the past day and events, another idea emerged, and within miracles, there is a sense of belonging of community for lack of better wording and pondering. I was caught in a paragraph from Moore’s site. I highly recommend a look at his website when time allows. Within the context of miracles and the world in general, teenagers often get confused by all the horror and death. Moore addressed this in previous paragraphs and led into this thought.
“We could ask the same question about the thousands of children being killed and horribly wounded in wars across the globe. This horror exists because we have not matured enough to create a world community that genuinely serves the welfare of our children. Again, it’s a theological matter. We operate under an infantile illusion that religions are in competition with each other, and we battle our anxious beliefs with literal weapons. We profess religions that are ninety percent ideology, full of ego, and, in the face of this pseudo-religion, create a secularist society, which by definition is incapable of genuine community.” Thomas Moore
For those interested, his website is – http://www.careofthesoul.net/index.htm
I was looking at Yahoo news today, and three of the ten articles were religious-related, granted it is a holiday season in several different religions. One that catches my attention is a court overturning intelligent design, which some school systems and politicians are pushing. The Iranian President declares a ban on western music, clothing, ideas, morals, etc. In Bethlehem, this time of year always causes conflict between various denominations and religions.
As I sit thinking, the term genuine community is an interesting one. Could we even consider this? That might be construed as a miracle considering wars have been fought over religion for thousands of years. However, it is never ideology but money when you get down and dirty, but religion is easier to accept. Can we become a community each step in its place? As I talked with my friend who had lost a son and for her, the story unraveled over the years, not instantaneously. There was not a blinding flash of light but pieces falling in place one by one leading to that day in the Laundromat and our talk. A long-term miracle, perhaps? My miracle would be to no longer ask my friends to keep all in harm’s way on their minds and in their hearts. That would be the miracle I seek, and perhaps if we can chip away piece by piece at building community, at building relationships, at climbing up each shovel full of dirt up one at a time, what seemingly is getting hit in the face with a shovel full of dirt could in effect be freedom and maybe even peace someday and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)