Sunday, October 05, 2014

I don't believe in miracles

Confession: I don't believe in miracles.

This is something that I have been wrestling with lately in my work at the trauma center.

I have seen enough tough reality to recognize that miracles don't happen just because you might want them.  I have sat with people who DESERVE a miracle.  Who pray unceasingly for a miracle.  Who don't get that miracle.

I think culturally we buy into some sort of mythology around miracles that implies that if we "believe" hard enough or pray hard enough we will get what we want. I have seen too many people die and too many families hurting.

It's not the job of the chaplain to believe in miracles.  I think its damaging. I have no doubt that God is capable of miracles, and I am not so cynical that I wouldn't shout from the rooftops if I happened to witness one, but its not my job to hold out hope for the impossible.  Or worse yet, tell patients that.  I don't believe in miracles.  At least not the kind where you want something and pray for it and get exactly what you want.

Because sometimes, miracles are not healing or curing.  Sometimes a miracle is a peaceful death. Or what seems like an impossible reconciliation between family members.  Or sitting with a hurting person whose spouse is suffering cardiac arrest in the ICU and feeling the power of the Holy Spirit flooding over the room in a flickering moment of calm amidst chaos.

I believe in a God who shows up.  I believe in a God of accompaniment, not a God who dispenses good or bad things according to a quantifiable amount of belief.

1 comment:

benny said...

Very wise. Well said!