Monday, January 18, 2010

Brought to You by the Letter O


Ordinary Miracles

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.
                                                                     - Betty Smith

Sometimes I wonder how changed my vision would be if I had never gotten sick. I have no doubt the core of me would be the same… I would still be compassionate and kind and, some would say, ornery. I know I would have a heart of gratitude, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be as aware of the little things.

Sometimes, when someone is sitting in the chair across from me or are sitting cross-legged on my floor, it will suddenly occur to me that they don’t feel their body. They get up or lay down or sit still without giving a thought to how they are going to manage any of those things. And I am amazed. Because I have actually forgotten that living without that awareness is possible. Sitting without feeling every part of my body is not something I can remember… mostly because I never stopped to notice when I had the chance. I thought it was ordinary, but in truth it was a miracle.

There are so many little ordinary miracles. There are times when, out of the blue, I’ll notice that I’ve been breathing without thinking… something that doesn’t happen for me every day. I can’t breathe deep, but when I am breathing easily it’s not something I do without noticing anymore. I’m amazed at the difference the air purifier has made and find myself consciously appreciating sitting still and simply breathing. It’s ordinary, but it’s also a miracle.

Isn’t it funny that when a baby suddenly finds their hand and are mesmerized by it’s motion, we all sit and are mesmerized at it as well? Or when their giggle over an inanimate object becomes so contagious, we suddenly notice the object again for the first time, too? The ordinary in our lives gets overlooked because it seems to have always been there… seems as though it always will be. Until we look again with new eyes and see the miracle in the ordinary all around us.

My life changing as it has certainly changed my vision. Watching people in Haiti who were going about their normal lives suddenly living in what must feel like a war zone changes my vision. Realizing there are homeless living in the cold who had jobs a year ago changes my vision. It doesn’t mean I need to feel guilty for what I have, but it does mean I need to be consciously aware. To not take the simple things for granted.

I want to remember to not just give thanks for the extraordinary moments in my life… the times when I am overwhelmed by grace. I want to be grateful for the ordinary. The basics. The mundane that we assume will always be present. I want to remember to look with eyes that see the ordinary as miracles, so my life can be filled with glory.

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