Friday, October 7, 2011

Ordinary Miracle

Isn't 'Ordinary Miracle' an oxymoron? How is something miraculous if it's also ordinary? Is that possible? My online dictionary defines 'miracle' as:

1) an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2) such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3) a wonderful or surpassing example of some quality.

and 'ordinary' as:
1) of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional.
2) plain or undistinguished.
3) somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre.
4) customary; usual; normal.

So Friday night, it was just my littlest guy and me for the evening. We decided to watch a movie together. At first we picked Dreamer but he remembered it's got too many scratches on it and skips too much (not sure why we haven't tossed it if that's the case... but that's for ANOTHER post!). We chose Charlotte's Web.

Now... you would think I would have read it enough times, and/or seen the animated movie enough times... to NOT cry. I KNOW HOW IT ENDS! I know the drill... uncommon friendship, kindness, sacrifice, love - all 'round feel-good show. Knowing this should shield me from the onslaught of sappy expressions, right? No.Such.Luck. I'm really a sap... I'll admit it, even without the hormones of pregnancy running through my blood I will cry at the drop of a sentimental hat!! Touching commercials will even get me... still. Oh well... my only saving grace is that my son was equally as touched. We shed a tear in unison together on our couch... bonding moment!

As I was sitting there after the movie, pondering the message of Charlotte telling Wilbur that he had changed things... as a result of his acceptance of her, his goodness and kindness (and his willingness to express it!) he made everyone in that barn think a spider was beautiful. And through her sacrifice, she was able to spare his life from the smokehouse. I was contemplating how sublime those simple principles of acceptance and kindness are.

How many times are our simplest of actions the most significant? A quick word of encouragement to a friend, a heartfelt hug, an 'I love you' at the end of a conversation, a 'thumbs up' when feeling down, a quick phone call to see how we're doing, a casual compliment? Honestly, the older I get the more I realize that it's the small acts of random kindness, consideration and care that ultimately bind us to each other. Why? Because THESE expressions are culturally optional.

Everyone 'hops to' when a loved one passes away, or a friend has had an accident... meals are made, children are babysat, houses are cleaned. We KNOW that someone needs help and we respond. It's loving, it's kind, it's supportive... all very good, and it's also CUSTOMARY and as such, almost expected. Now, while those are surely vital and important times to lend a hand and support - they aren't the only moments that bring us closer to each other and I might propose that they aren't the only instances where SIGNIFICANT connections are made.

It's those optional, voluntary, unnecessary moments when someone reaches out a hand, a word, a glance, a hug... and we are moved in profound ways. Because no one expected them to, no one asked them to, no one felt obliged... it's a true gift, an expression of love from a willing heart. And THAT... is powerful.

As I'm resting on our couch, musing over the movie and watching the credits... I hear this song by Sarah McLachlan 'Orindary Miracle' and I begin crying again. Here's a sampling (there's a lot more to this song, but this'll give you a good idea of what it's about):

The sky knows when it's time to snow
Don't need to teach a seed to grow
It's just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
And disappears again at night
It's just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don't throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part of the ordinary miracle

I just sat there and listened to this and thought of all those small ordinary, yet miraculous things that make a difference in my life. My daughter giving me a hug in front of her friends (this might be more miraculous than ordinary!! LOL), my mom calling me in the morning to see how I'm doing, a morning text message from my boyfriend, lunch with a good friend, my 10 year old wanting me to rub his back still....

Ordinary? Absolutely... Miraculous? Undoubtedly... because, according to one of the definitions, these things manifest as a work of God - namely, Love. And Love... loving, being loved, being 'in love'... is God's greatest work we can do and experience; and being fortunate enough to have an abundance of Love in my life, through ordinary, voluntary means... is truly miraculous, yes.

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