Quite a long time ago a movie came out that became and has remained one of my very favorites. The title is: The Flower Drum Song. The song says, “A hundred thousand miracles are happening every day.” It reminds me that when we are attentive, everyday miracles are present to us and give us much joy. Here is one way this has happened for me.
Outside my window there is a small tree. It is not much to look at; in fact it is very easy to miss. The branches are spindly, and the trunk is almost too small to call a trunk. Frequently, I close my shade so I do not have to look at it.
In the basement there are several boxes of things from the past. I seldom pay attention to them except to shift them around when I need to reach something that is stored beneath or behind them. The top box holds many things, and not all of them draw my attention, but there is a rusty looking cup I often find myself picking up, wondering where it came from. It is so crusty-looking, I always always return it to the box, but for one reason or another, on one particular day, I set it on top of the boxes.
Soon after that, my young nephew Joey came to me for the nth time to have his shoes tied. As I helped him again, I wondered how his mother could do that so many more times than I and still keep her patience. I decided to show Joey how to tie his shoes himself. (We had done this 45 times before.) Shoes tied, he spied the cup and asked if he could play with it. Getting a nod from me, he dashed out the door to his adventures.
My thoughts soon turned to my niece Danielle and her husband who have been trying to conceive a child for the past seven years of their marriage. The doctors finally told them it was not going to happen. It was a sad finale for a wonderful couple.
As my mind pondered this sadness, Susan, a neighbor child, came by with her cousin and began exploring the back porch where they found a bucket with dried up bulbs in it. “Can we plant them?” she asked. I was not sure if the bulbs would germinate, but I told them they could use the flower bed near the walk.
Now, that day was not despairingly low, but it was certainly not a whiz-bang day! But the things I have mentioned showed their miraculous side just a few weeks later. I noticed it at first when I opened the shade in my room where the spindly tree grew and was welcomed with a burst of color. That tree was beautiful!
That same morning, Danielle called and told me they planned to adopt, and Catholic Charities told them they were short of couples and had already put them on their list. Next, they had to be interviewed and write something about themselves and their marriage. The two of them were so happy and excited, I was smiling when we ended the conversation.
Not long after that, Joey came over to show me that he could tie his own shoes now, which he did slowly and with care but accurately. I gave him a hug of approval. “You showed me how real good,” he said, “and look what I found.” He then handed me the once crusty cup, now sparkling silver inscribed with the name: John F. Kennedy. “I took it to preschool to show them, and my teacher said it was probably a hair loom”. I knew Joey was a greater treasure than that cup.
I swept the kitchen after Joey left and was emptying the trash outside the back door, when I saw them: six little green shoots popping out of the flower bed. I still was not sure what they would be but those little green heads gave my own heart such a lift, I smiled most of the afternoon.
Miracles? Well, not the big kind, like the Resurrection of Jesus, but little reminders that in the ordinary things of life, miracles happen every day.
May your day be blessed and filled with the joy of miracles both ordinary and extraordinary!
Peace, Joy, and Everything Good,
S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF has a background in education, child development, and family ministries, and her wisdom is now at work at Oldenburg Franciscan Center. She has worked as a teacher, school administrator, and as Director of Family Life Services for two dioceses. Sr. Sharonlu has long been an advocate for children and puts her heart into helping parents build and sustain healthy family relationships. One of her most memorable ministries has been with the people of Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, where her heart still lies.