Emerging from Emergency

“The thing to do now is live normally, even though we’ve seen a miracle.” This is what our grown son told us after his sister recovered from a severe cardiac arrest event. The medical details, the actual health crisis, don’t seem to be the same unsurmountable barrier presented to us just a few weeks ago. Prayers have been answered. Resuscitation, and the resurrection of hope it brought, grant us a day to day status as believers.

The appreciation of breath, of eye contact, of speech and memory have become vital currency. The way we spend our time, the moment to moment wonder of it all seems to shift the ground under our feet with every step. The bit about life going on is both a relief and an abrupt challenge. The notion that this life only goes on so far for each of us is at least sobering.

Quite a few people theorized our daughter’s recovery is a reality because God has a bigger plan for her. I don’t dispute that but it unnerves me to realize how unconscious I’ve been of any bigger plans He has for any of us. I’ve been committed to just getting by, to trying to survive economically, politically, and maybe, on a good day spiritually, or creatively. I wasn’t too worried about losing my soul to gain the whole world if I could just keep pace with the daily demands ahead of me.

But that was then and now I am witness to a miracle that requires I perceive things differently. Life is fragile, precarious, precious, and except for the Christian detail of being eternal, it is very impermanent. My ears have shifted, perhaps open for the first time to Jesus’s command, “He who has ears, let him hear!” As I spent time in the hospital corridor I was reminded of a spiritual awareness game that encourages us to look at every person anew as if seeing the face of God in everyone. Hanging around nurses and prayer warriors makes it easier because of the mundane miraculousness of what their work entails, but from a bigger picture even the non-emergency conditions of our life are divinely orchestrated and that sudden knowledge caught me like a safety net.

Are some miracles bigger than others? I don’t have the perspective or patience to debate this. Our family has new life. It’s been given, and extended as a mercy, as a grace. We are all puzzle pieces to each other. We fit where we do. The Lord is not playing with us. He does answer prayer because each of us may soon be the answer someone we know, or are about to meet, is looking for, and despite our misgivings and imperfections when they see us they will see Jesus and that, believe me, is a miracle.

Will Schmit

Will Schmit is a volunteer outreach prison minister for Lifehouse Church in McKinleyville Ca. He is the author of Head Lines A Sixty Day Guide to Personal Psalmistry and Jesus Inside A Prison Minister's Memoir and Training Manual both available at Amazon Books and www.schmitbooks.com. The website also includes poetry, ministry updates, and music downloads from Bring To Glory a CD of spoken word with coffee house jazz.

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