A couple years ago, this band called Insane Clown Posse came out with this song called "Miracles." I knew very little about this band, and actually only heard about the song because it was parodied on SNL. And with good reason. While this creepy hip hop group, whose genre is also described as "horrorcore," was actually being very serious about their amazement at miracles, some of their examples of miracles were hilarious. Pet cats, rainbows, dirt and magnets are just a few of the many things described as miracles in the song. The music video is super entertaining, so you may want to watch it for yourself. But I will warn you that these dudes are pretty bizarre and the song definitely has some explicit lyrics. So, for example, Mom, you won't like it.
While I'm not sure that everything from ICP's song should be considered miraculous, I'm glad they find wonder in the world. As much as those guys creep me out a little, I have to agree that miracles happen. Often times I think the discussion of miracles focuses on whether or not miracles exist, what constitutes a miracle, or how they happen. I have thought about these questions as well. Recently, however, my thoughts on miracles shifted from the if, what and how to the why.
About a month or so ago, Andy Root came to speak at a training for youth workers that we held at Youthfront. He had great insights on the struggles of being youth and of course on the role of youth workers in the midst of these struggles. It was great stuff, and in my "glad to be done with seminary" phase of life, I of course neglected to take notes. But I did pull out my phone and type one note that really hit me. Andy addressed miracles in his presentation, and basically said that miracles are for the church, to remind us of the future hope we have of a world where suffering doesn't exist. Whenever something bad happens, people pray. And it seems that no matter how much people pray, sometimes the bad wins, but sometimes something miraculous happens.
When Andy spoke about this, I was immediately reminded of my not-really-but-basically niece, Ellie. Over two years ago, when she was 4, Ellie swallowed a penny. As time passed and the penny did not, Ellie had an x-ray to see if it was still in her body somewhere. The x-ray surprisingly revealed that Ellie had a large tumor wrapped around her spine. Long story short, doctors were able to remove the entire tumor and Ellie has had no trace of cancer for about two years now. I really believe that it was a miracle.
But Andy's talk put this in a whole new perspective for me. That miracle was not just so that Ellie could live, or so those of us that love her dearly would not lose her. The way that God flipped around that circumstance should cause all of us as believers to see the future hope of a life beyond this one where death no longer exists. Under normal circumstances, Ellie may have died because of that tumor, just like terrible situations like that happen all the time. But her miracle points me to a God who has a bigger plan for all of us.
When miracles happen, it is tempting to think it's because we all prayed enough, or because God is on our side, or because we deserved it. But instead, miracles should cause us to stand in awe of the God of the universe, who is our one and only hope.