It’s not everyday you get to see a miracle. Or get to chat to a miracle worker.
It was July and I was with my family July in the Kassanda hills, a couple of hours out of Kampala in Uganda. We were there with Fields Of Life to see a bore hole being drilled to bring clean water to a sizeable community. As the drilling was going on, and water spraying around us, one of the excited locals described what was happening - “it’s a miracle!”
I spoke to Charles the main driller and asked what it was like to make miracles every day. He smiled but was well aware of the magnitude of what his work achieved and how much it means to communities across East Africa.
It made me think about miracles. We often limit them to interventions by God, almost short circuiting the way we live with some inexplicable occurrence. I don’t doubt such miracles occur. I have seen those too. However, I think when we limit miracles to God’s interventions we miss many many everyday miracles and leave ourselves out of the work of miracle making.
There is a scene in my favourite comedy film Bruce Almighty where Morgan Freeman playing God speaks to Jim Carey playing Bruce, who has been given God’s powers. They end up talking miracles and God says to Bruce: -
“Parting your soup is not a miracle, Bruce. It's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs and still finds time to take her kid to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says "no" to drugs and "yes" to an education, that's a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. But what they don't realize is they have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.”
It is an interesting take. Be the miracle. When Jesus said, “Love your neighbour as yourself” he was inviting us to “Be the miracle”. “Love your enemies” was an audacious suggestion that we could be the miracle. “Feed the poor, cloth the naked, welcome the (refugee) stranger”… Jesus was inviting us to be the miracle workers.
Here in Northern Ireland I see miracles regularly as I meet victims of the troubles who have found healing and reach out to make reconciliation. I see miracles as many caught in sectarianism see their enemy in a new light. Where we are in our peace process, fragile and full of faults as it is, is nothing short of a miracle.
Like that clean water in Uganda, God was hovering above and around and inside the scene… but it is possible in the hours in the rest of our day that we can be a miracle to someone who needs a miracle.