Everyday Miracles

There’s nothing ordinary about what’s known in the lectionary as “ordinary time.” Not Christmas, not Easter, not Pentecost, but the everyday miracles of God with us, of life on earth. Everyday evil also, the ongoing oppression of God’s children, the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Everyday miracles: the human family being fed and healed, corrected and forgiven. Everyday evil: the human family starving, murdered, suffering, exploited.

Ordinary time is the time when we try to understand and live the teachings of Jesus. Nothing ordinary about that—a lifetime worth of challenges instead.

We have again alternated the Sundays, with Shelley doing the first, third, fifth, and seventh, and Jim the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth.

July 7: Children Sitting in the Marketplace
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-19; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

I remember when my children were little, tired, and cranky. There was literally no way to please them. Whatever I did was wrong and led to tears and tantrums. Neither could they please themselves: crayons broke, shoes stumbled, books tore—all their perfect dreams came to nothing.

I could have a nightmare about it: a hot, sticky, humid day; feeling end-of-the-rope tired; knowing what I want to create—and then a stupid mistake, a word come from nowhere, and all is lost and in ruins. I could have a nightmare, but I don’t need to: It happens all too often in real life that the loving gesture hurts, the perfect gift falls flat, and the best hopes and dreams are smashed through my own blindness or lack of care. One very good reason to go slow in a good cause! “I find it to be a law that when I want to do good, evil is close at hand.”

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1996
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