Saturday, October 18, 2014

I DO believe in mystery

A.Hanson, Denver 2012
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post, in which I state that I do not believe in miracles. After quite a bit of conversation with friends and other clergy types, I think what I was trying to say is that while I don't believe in miracles, I DO believe in mystery.

I believe that there is a power bigger than us at work in the world.  I believe that there are things that we cannot explain. I believe that God works in ways that do not always make sense to us.

About week ago I attended a very traumatic death in which a woman essentially suffocated on the secretions in her own lungs. This is respiratory failure.  She was alone, and had no family present.  They had left the hospital because they just couldn't deal with what they were seeing.  I don't fault them that. I stayed with this woman until she breathed her last rattly breath. And it was awful. As soon as I stepped away from the room to help the nurse with the death paperwork, a wonderful, beautiful yellow lab was present in the hallway. We have therapy animals sometimes at the hospital, but rarely do I see them on the ICU units. This gentle yellow lab let me hug him and cry into his neck. I think this dog was an angel.  This is mystery.  I think that God knew that I was extremely raw and unable to talk to people at this point, but the gentle love and care of an animal was exactly what I needed.

And I see mystery all the time. I see people arriving at the hospital at just the right moment to be with their loved ones.  I see trauma teams working together in perfect harmony to save someone's life.  I see people being discharged from the hospital after impossible poly-traumas.

I absolutely believe God is capable of mystery, and sometimes that comes in the form of miracles.  But sometimes its just a little bit more mysterious than that.

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