Written by Sophie Aust
Dreams are like miracles.
You can have 25 dreams a night and not remember a single one of them. Likewise, you can spend your entire life trying to disprove miracles, but you cannot keep them from happening.
Miracles are happening all around us, and we shut our eyes to them. Miracles happen when we would rather cover our ears and hum than listen to God. When we force God to pull out the big guns. When He steps down from heaven and makes flowers grow out of our dreadful compost of a life.
I know this, because I often try to ignore God. In Kari Jobe’s Revelation Song, she describes being “Filled with wonder at the mention of your name.” I personally cannot relate to this. When I hear God’s name mentioned, my most common response is to run in the opposite direction. My life has been filled with miracle after miracle; God trying desperately to get my attention and show his deep love for me. I run away and come back, again and again, but God’s love is relentless. No matter how hard we try to ignore miracles, God continues to make them happen.
I am constantly faced with miracles the size of tiny birds. Miracles that are hardly more than coincidence. God does not usually speak to me in the thunder and lightning. Instead, God quietly reminds me that he takes care of the entire universe, and that universe includes me. I experienced the most memorable of these miracles in October of 2011 after a horrific seizure. I have suffered with anxiety my entire life, but we did not acknowledge it until I began to have dangerous physical symptoms such as twitching, paralysis, and intense seizures. The first of these seizures occurred during a school rally when I fell off a high bleacher and began shaking uncontrollably. I had to pull on one of my friend’s legs in order for anybody to notice anything at all. This was hugely disturbing to me. Not only had I had a potentially dangerous seizure, but none of my friends even noticed.
The next day was a Saturday, and I spent the entire day in a cold sweat of anxiety. My family is part of a church small-group, and every month we meet at each others’ houses for dinner. This particular Saturday, we were meeting at the fanciest, richest house of the entire group. I was completely overwhelmed. I don’t think I said over five words throughout the entire dinner, and I was eager to get home early. Then I saw my best friend, Brandon, sneak into the dark living room. Brandon is a silent, awkward sophomore at Alameda High. Not one to talk much, he spends most of his time playing MineCraft on his laptop. He has been one of my best friends for my whole life, but we have never once had a truly serious conversation. On a whim, I followed him into the huge, pitch dark living room. He was sitting and playing on his Nintendo DS. I sat on the armchair across from him. We were quiet for a long time, not talking, just listening to each others’ thoughts, communicating without any words, knowing we had both escaped for the exact same reason. After a while he invited me to watch him play. We sat on the squashy red couch together and watched his little boxy character battle monsters and collect Pokemon. Soon we were talking, discussing weird dreams and awkward friends, embarrassing moments, bad teachers. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard as I did on that one night.
When I was the absolute furthest from God, He picked me up and stuck me back on my feet. With the help of an empty room, a Nintendo DS, and Brandon VanGelder, God put my pieces back together. There were no tears, no wild embracing, no promises to be a better person, none of that. But that night in late October was nothing less than a miracle.
In his book Tattoos on the Heart, Father Greg Boyle calls miracles “Music with nothing playing”. Like the story of Elijah, God was not in the fire, the earthquake, or the wind storm. God was no less than the faintest whisper. But that whisper was more precious than any praise song or devotion. He was there, and He was taking extreme actions to show that I was extraordinarily loved.
Miracles are constantly happening. The air is thick with them. God sends us these sudden, breath-taking moments to stick us back in the right direction. The more we try to run away, to forget, to believe that we are no good, God continues to call us back, saying that we are worth it and He has a plan. God uses miracles to say that He doesn’t just love us, He is madly and irrevocably IN LOVE with us. And that is all that we ever need to know.