Miracles. Hmmmm. This has been a concept I have had problems with since I was a child. The general definition is some sort of event that serves as helpful or beneficial for a person, and is viewed as either inexplicable or as an intervention of the divine.

Intervention of the divine. Right. Cause God wants me to escape a fender-bender, but has no miracles for the billions of people in the world who are starving, dying, or oppressed by forces outside of their control. Sure. That makes complete sense.

I know that sounds snarky, but think about it. I profess to believe in a loving and just God. I profess a belief in the power of prayer to intercede on the behalf of someone, that prayer can capture the attention of God (who is always watching) and move him to act in a miraculous way on my behalf.

And yet… yet… women are burned alive by their potential husbands who want to pay a lesser dowry. Men have been protected by law so that when they rape a woman, as long as they marry her later, they face no legal action. Which is great because once she is ruined it is way easier to get her as a wife. Children, innocent, blameless children, sit dying in streets all over the world for a variety of reasons- illness, starvation, exposure. And this… this God does not miraculously fix.

So all of the prayers that I have sent up for all of these people, did they not work? Where was God? Oh I know that pat answers. Humanity introduced evil into the world and now it is a burden we must bear. We must be responsible for lifting people out of oppression. We must help and aid those people by bringing them the message of Christ- and presumably clean drinking water. 

But I don’t like those answers. I think those answers are a cop out. I think it is horribly horribly duplicitous to say, “Well, evil exists in the world and we can’t fix that, but I am sure God has a plan.” And then to claim that God blessed you with a promotion, or a new car, or maybe you were healed of a disease, even though you have insurance and doctors and a fighting chance just because of your geographic location. 

Yeah. The idea of miracles bothers me. Because eventually, no matter which line of thinking you follow, you either end up with a God who micro-manages the lives of a select, special, privileged few; or you have a God who is so completely hands-off that he serves no purpose other than as an architect of some sort. Maybe I am missing something, but neither of those gods suits me, or my view of justice and love.

5 thoughts on “Miracles?

  1. This was a good read. I especially liked the last paragraph with the contrasting gods, the micromanager vs the hands off guy, good way to describe it.

    • This is interesting. I recently followed both of you. I think all three of us could have a good conversation. We all seem to come from a similar background (unless I am mistaken, all of us professed faith in God/Christ at one point in our life).

      Is “micromanager” a reference to the concept of election? Is the “hands of guy” a reference to deism? Why do you think bad things happen? Does personal responsibility have anything to do with our choices and their corresponding consequences?

  2. Good post. I knew that even as a Christian I had trouble with miracles. I realize that I could never see where god is at work in the here and now.

  3. Hi there.

    I think you’ve raised some good, thought provoking stuff here.

    However,I don’t think your defintion of what a miracle is is quite correct. In fact, I decided to go off and check it out. Dictionary.com defines a miracle as being “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause”.

    I think an ‘extraordinary event’ is a bit more than being helpful to someone. Mircales are rare. Very rare. It seems that the term is now used frequently and incorrectly to describe something that we are surprised by or thought would turn out differently.

    Also: do you think everything that happens in the world should make perfect sense to you?


    • I agree, the term is probably overused, and that lessens the scope of the word’s real meaning.

      Should everything make sense to me? I don’t know… The reason I am blogging about this is to show the struggle I am having in making sense of the faith and religion I have claimed for most of my life. The universe is massive and unfathomable and we will not know everything about in my lifetime. But pursuing knowledge and understanding should be the action we choose, instead of just calling things unknowable. Good comment! Thank you for the question, I will be mulling that one over for a while!

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