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recognizing miraculous encounters

November 2, 2009

I ran into an acquaintance at a dinner several weeks ago.  When I introduced him to Rosario, he quickly realized which of my sisters she was – the one who had been shot.  He knew only the basic facts of her ordeal and some of those facts were second- and third-hand.  Rosario clarified several things and shed light on a few others.  At one point, he turned to me in awe and said, “You didn’t tell me I was meeting a miracle!”

My sister’s story is quite miraculous, considering she should have dropped dead as soon as the bullet entered her chest.  Her doctors were astounded that she survived, and they were equally amazed that the bullet seemed to weave around Rosario’s vital organs, which is one of the main reasons she did survive.  It is a privilege and honor to share all the miracles – large and small- that contributed to my sister’s new lease on life, with others.   When we encounter miracles, we are reminded of God’s mercy and are left in awe of His power, as was the acquaintance from the dinner.  Such tangible examples of God’s greatness fill us with joy and hope.  It is a joy my family does not wish to keep to ourselves, which is why we openly share my sister’s story.

The miracle of Rosario’s survival is easy to recognize, but there are many miracles we encounter every day that are not as obvious.  I am in no way undermining the extravagant miracles God performed that allowed my sister to live, but I have been very convicted about all the other miracles I come across daily and take for granted.

Between celebrating the Feast of All Saints yesterday and the Feast of All Souls today, I realized that I interact with the miracle of life every day through co-workers, family members, roommates, friends, coffeehouse baristas, clients, random people in the check-out line, etc.  Unfortunately I get so caught up in my own little world that I often miss these opportunities to verify the marvelous wonder of each life.  I am quick to dismiss those I come in contact with or see them as interruptions because I’m busy or tired rather than take a moment to validate their personhood.

The miracle of life is under attack from all sides, whether it’s abortion, euthanasia, or the sanctity of marriage and family life.  Although there are many ways I can take a stand against these very real threats to humanity, it can be overwhelming.  While getting involved is good, opening another’s eyes to the miracle of his or her own life by recognizing it and acknowledging it can have a deep impact in the fight for life.

It will take a little extra effort at first, but I am going to do my best to recognize these every day miraculous encounters and respond to them with the same awe and wonder with which my acquaintance responded to his miraculous encounter with my sister.

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