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Everyday Miracles

einstein quote
Five years ago I had open heart surgery.
I had developed a blood infection that went undiagnosed for a number of months until, eventually, it damaged one of my heart values. It was a long, complicated process both before and after the surgery. Not too long ago I asked my wife if she still thought about that time and the days and weeks we spent in the hospital.
“Every day,” she said.
Me, too.
Seldom a day goes by when I don’t notice the lumps on my chest bone where they cut through it to get to my heart. Or a day when there is not some sort of sensation which causes the muscles in my chest to hurt for a bit.
I am grateful to be alive.
I almost wasn’t.
I am grateful for the skills of doctors and nurses who had the training and skill to do what they did.
15 years ago…
20 years ago…
I am not sure they would have.

I don’t think of miracles as some magical force that somehow changes the laws of nature or undoes the consequences or results of the choices we make. I think miracles have something to do with how we look at and understand our lives. What if miracles have to do with awe and wonder and paying attention? What if miracles have something to do with the realization that there is something more; that Life is something more?
We have a choice about how we will live.
I don’t pay attention to it as much as I would like.
But I pay attention more now than I did five years ago.

Sometimes We Make It Too Complicated

prayer2
Sometimes we make praying and prayers too complicated, don’t we, O God.
Thinking we have to be in the right place or say the right words in order to pray. But it is not like that, is it?
Remind us again, O God…
That each time our heart reaches out to another is a prayer.
Every thank you felt and said is a prayer.
Each time we listen carefully and caringly to another is a prayer.
Every time we gaze at another with love overflowing is a prayer.
Each time we reach out our hands to help another, it is a prayer.
Every time our heart breaks for another it is a prayer.
Each time we are stopped in our tracks by beauty is a prayer.
Every time we look closely at a flower;
Or gaze into the depths of space, is a prayer.
The lesson for us is to turn those moments into a lifetime.
Amen.