Do you believe in miracles? According to writer Rachel Held Evans, that question isn’t important. The important thing is whether you ACT like you believe in miracles. People who act like they believe in miracles feed the hungry, care for the sick, hold the hand of the homeless and offer hope to the addict. Sometimes while they are busy behaving as if miracles can happen they just might!
Rachel’s book Inspired looks at practical ways to interpret and apply Biblical texts. One chapter focuses on the gospel accounts of Jesus performing miracles, including the story where he walked on water. Rachel writes if we want to ‘walk on water’ in our personal lives and in our relationships with others the first thing we need to do is get out of the boat. That first step out of the boat might mean showing up for a counseling session or giving an older relative a phone call, getting some exercise, donating to a charity, taking a break from social media or offering free babysitting to new parents.
Rachel says while the New Testament records Jesus’ miracles it does not provide us with a ‘how to manual’. Jesus doesn’t give us a recipe or blueprint. We need to figure out how to act like miracle workers on our own. That got me thinking about people I know who are acting like they believe in miracles.
Jesus healed a blind man. My friend Esther sorts and packs used eyeglasses for the Lions Club. The glasses are distributed worldwide to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them or wouldn’t have access to them. My cousin Steve’s volunteer work prevents diabetes patients in Nicaragua from going blind.
Jesus provided food for the crowds who came to see him. My parents Paul and Dorothy grew grain on their hobby farm for the Canadian Food Grains Bank. That grain helped feed people around the world. My pastor Kathy coordinates the Winnipeg Harvest branch that operates out of our church providing food to folks in our neighborhood who need it.
Jesus gave new life to a little girl. My sister Kaaren volunteers at a school that is trying to provide new beginnings to kids whose families face a variety of challenges. My friend Simone serves on the board of a shelter that provides new hope to the homeless.
Jesus loosened the tongue of a man who couldn’t speak. My friend Jodi has written and published a book that gives autistic kids a voice. She wants their stories and their strengths to be heard and recognized. My cousin Lynne and her husband Rod act as allies with indigenous community members as they give voice to their wisdom. They believe indigenous insights can help us understand political and social issues in new and important ways.
Do you believe the miracle stories in the Bible actually happened? Rachel Held Evans suggests that’s really an irrelevant question. The real question is……..Do the miracle stories in the Bible inspire you to attempt miracles?
Note: I was a devoted follower of Rachel Held Evans’ blog. After she died suddenly at the beginning of May I knew there wouldn’t be any more blog posts so I decided to read or re-read all of her books. Inspired was a great first choice.