by Mike Sawin
A few years ago, I helped a friend of mine move his library of books from one side of St. Cloud to the other. My friend is a pastor of a local church. A mutual
friend who liked to tease us about the Christian faith joined us.
"If God really wanted you to have these books moved,
he would create a miracle," our friend said with a big smile. We all laughed.
A couple of hours later, as the last
box of books was unloaded, I turned to my friend and said, "Poof."
"What does that mean?"
I said, "I mean,
there's your miracle. The books were over there, and now they're over here."
That was the start of a long discussion
of miracles and the wills of God and man. I've never forgotten that conversation, because it was the beginning of a new way
of thinking for me.
Miracles may come from God, but people frequently deliver them. Martin Luther realized this and
wrote, "Pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if everything depends on you."
In my work with street people,
I frequently hear the question, "Why does God allow homelessness?" Or social injustice, hate crimes, poverty, wars -- the
list goes on.
Miracles may come from God, but people frequently deliver them. But what if the ones who are supposed
to deliver these miracles choose not to?
Why do we have human misery? I believe one answer may be that we wait for
God (or the government, or some social service agency) to do something about misery when we are the ones that have the ability
to take action.
How many miracles have been denied to people because we waited for someone else to do the work?
many miracles have I withheld from people who needed them? How many times have I walked by, thinking that it was someone elses
problem, or someone else could do it better, or its just not my department?
Worse yet, how many times did I not take
action because I was just too busy and maybe the person in need of help was just reaping what they sowed anyway?
it or not, I encounter the attitude of "maybe they deserve it" quite often.
There are people in this town who work
at making miracles every day. I could embarrass them by naming them here. If you cornered them, they would deny that anything
miraculous was going on, but I see it differently.
One person I have in mind has been administrating a huge food shelf
for over sixteen years. She has helped feed hundreds of families every month for all that time. Hungry people getting food.
Sounds like a miracle to me.
Another person has worked hard at making sure we know who to call in times of crisis.
You call the place he runs, and they will tell you the best place to call to get the help you need. Lost people finding their
way. Sounds like another miracle.
I couldn't possibly list all our local miracle workers in this column. But here's
These people don't have any angelic skills; there's nothing supernatural about them. They just get up every
day and deliver the miracles that they can.
They work as if everything depends on them, but it's not like they run
around, trying to save the world. They just do what they can. What if we all did that very thing?
Why do we see so
much human misery? Perhaps its because we choose to wait for others do something about it.