On Christmas morning I was told to expect Christmas miracles. A few hours later I told someone else that our seeing each other was a Christmas miracle. Christmas miracles occur any and every day.
This is a year when the people of both America and the world are hungry for miracles. America is surviving a year of mass murders on its own shores. It felt like another year of higher unemployment, decreasing real wages because of higher prices, drought and storms were more than enough. Then came the December murders of the innocents in Connecticut, the young couple beaten and the woman raped in New Delhi, and her eventual death. Our national leaders cannot agree on a budget and so continues the national and international economic slide.
The news brings other stories, too. Stories of heroism during Sandy when so many people saved others’ lives. How teachers, police and firemen saved children in Sandy Hook the way they have daily for generations. How a neighbor picked up another neighbor’s mail while they were away on vacation. A few weeks ago the little church down the street was packed all Sunday afternoon. I saw many people carrying food in as they went to the morning church services. Later I learned that there had been a memorial for an elderly man. They had celebrated his life with a parish luncheon.
There are miracles every day because we choose them. We choose to say hello or nod at a passing stranger. We don’t just give money to charity, but give because we care. For several years I had the honor and privilege of volunteering for an AIDS organization. I was told that I would never know who was HIV+ or had AIDS unless they chose to tell me. What I learned was that the men and women around me, both employees and volunteers, gave greatly from the depths of their beings. Likewise, we all received greatly. What the men and women with HIV gave me of the wealth of their kindnesses, their many gifts of grace, went far beyond anything I could ever give in return.
We have an elderly neighbor in his early nineties. He built his home sixty years ago then filled it with the love and laughter of family. Now he lives alone. He tells us stories about the neighborhood during World War II. Back then it was another small plantation. Now he tells us the best way to grow our garden, tips about the yard and keeps us up to date on town life. In so many ways, he is a miracle. He gives us the gifts of his long life.
Every day is like every Christmas. Each day we have the ability to see miracles if we so choose. There have been Christmases when dinner was hot dogs and beans. Other years have brought the feast of a turkey dinner in a house filled with friends. Some years have been bitterly cold and others I’ve worn shorts and t-shirts.
Whatever the outer appearance, the miracle is inside. In my heart I must be willing to let my guardian angel speak to me. I must have the willingness to listen. To allow love in and to give it freely any day of the year is a Christmas miracle. My part in every miracle is my willingness to hear angel voices and to say yes.
Angels speak to us to tell us of the Lord’s love for us. God knows that the burning bush frightened Moses. Even Moses was afraid to look at God’s face, to see His Shekinah glory. If mortals are afraid to communicate directly with their Creator, the logic is that they will perhaps listen to His messengers. The angel messengers tell you and me every minute of every day that we are loved by Love.
That is a miracle.
We have the strength and talent within us to pass on that love. We can listen to their voices.
This is not an easy year. Much has been asked of us. More will be asked. We have choices. We always have choices.
We can dare to dream dreams, to hear voices, to live daringly in kindness and generosity.
We can dare to go beyond decency to goodness.
We can dare to believe in miracles.
We are the miracles.