The PTS Class of 2014 held a luncheon for all employees today as a part of its class gift to the seminary, and as a part of the gift committee, I was there. Ok, I was instrumental in making it happen – I put the invites together and got them out to people and compiled RSVPs and then sent out reminder emails twice and stuff like that. But in reality, someone else really made the shindig happen. And she’s dang fabulous. Really. She is.
Point of the matter is, I was mingling with an administrator I hadn’t seen in a while and we are discussing the future, how I’m feeling, she is staring awkwardly at my pacemaker site and commenting on the fact that she can barely see where it is, and el presidente of the seminary walks up in the midst of the conversation and all of a sudden, the administrator, a dean says, “well, she’s rather a miracle, you know…”
WHAT?! I’M A WHAT?!
I’ve never considered myself a miracle. I’ve considered the medical stuff that’s keeping my heart going a miracle, the procedures and surgeries I’ve had miracles, and the fact that I didn’t get a heck of a lot sicker from Endocarditis eight years ago DEFINITELY a miracle. But I’m DEFINITELY NOT A MIRACLE. This administrator is a fixer. She is the person who generally fixes other people’s problems, and is the crisis woman – she has been there for me when I am in need of a crisis manager. I haven’t necessarily needed someone to solve my crisis, but I have told her my crisis and what I’m going to do about it. She’s born the brunt of my crises over the last three years, and suffice it to say, there have been ample number – between hospitalizations, surgeries, extensions, and missed classes due to hospitalizations. She has been there. And has been great. And here she goes, calling me a miracle in front of the present. M. Craig. Barnes. Who is no other than A BIG FREAKING DEAL IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
He didn’t know all that I had been through in seminary, all that it took for me to get through seminary in three years, and all that it took for me to NOT NOT get through it without taking a leave. And while I tried to downplay it, she began to tell him – multiple procedures and surgeries on my heart, a long journey, but tons of strength. She insisted that I tell him what I had learned and how much this had to do with my call, and why I was going to California, why everything was falling into place, and how it was the right time. It was a special and sacred moment, and for a brief moment, the president knew me as the miracle girl.
Am I a miracle? Maybe yes, but probably not. I think each and every one of us are miracles in our own ways. In some way, we all have the ability to be miracles to people who are in desperate need for a touch, a lift, just something. Miracle implies that I was risen from the dead, like Lazarus, which is not true. I have been risen numerous times from not so lovely situations, from feeling like I’m going to have to take a break from seminary, from having to drop a field ed placement, from feeling like I might not be able to do a summer CPE internship, and from other things that everyone else gets to do. But the reality is, everyone is a miracle in that we all do things the way God intends us to do them. We all do things in the very way God designs us to do them and IN NO OTHER WAY THAN THAT.
So perhaps I am a miracle. I am a miracle because I have the breath of God in me, and I am going off to bring the breath and spirit of life to others where they might not feel so miraculous. Who knows? The word “miracle” feels a bit too spectacular as I type out two final papers at the end of three long, at times less than miraculous years. And yet, looking back, it feels nothing less than miraculous!
Where is your miracle? How can YOU be a miracle to those who feel so totally un-miraculous in the here and now?