I have never seen a miracle!
Having said that, I believe in miracle. I believe that there is wonder and beauty and the divine all the time. I live in miracle. What we call a miracle is the intersection of God's activity and our perception of it. "God" is always active but we are blind to it. We don't perceive it. But there have been times in my life when I have perceived it. Not just when the right amount of money shows up in the nick of time. Not just when something someone prophesied comes to pass. I believe these are miracles. But you and I both know that these can all be explained away. I'm talking primarily about the miracle of forgiveness and reconciliation, perseverance in the midst of suffering, the sunset. the flower, the river, the stars that fill the night sky. Miracle is all the time everywhere. I swim in miracle. Just saying.
But I have to come out of the closet and admit that I've never seen a "miracle", like someone's sight restored, or a limb replaced, or cancer cured, or the lame walk, or someone brought back to life (I'll have to tell you the story some time of a guy who tried to get me to sneak into the back room of a funeral home just before the funeral was about to begin to pry open the coffin and raise the man from the dead. I weaseled my way out of that one!). Not that I don't pray for these things to happen. And I will continue to do so. I am human and in times of great love or fear I cry out for any help at all. But I have never seen it happen. And I've talked to other pastors and believers who say the same thing. I've heard stories. I've read accounts. I've been at tent meetings and rallies and conferences where some claimed it happened. But I've never seen it. Just saying.
I prefer to deal with reality. I know I don't always. But when I'm at my best I prefer reality. And I'm sick of the miracle talk that goes on, all in an effort to attract people and get them to sign up or give money or convert or commit. Or even with the misguided but good intention of trying to cheer someone up. I'm just tired of all the empty promises of always feeling God's presence and increasing in his favor. I think it's all a crock. I think it's a desperate and deliberate dishonesty to allay fear and increase our sense of entitlement and security in what most people feel is a meaningless and frightening existence. As a pastor I feel enormous pressure to keep up the illusion. But I can't. I won't. Why? Because, all in an effort to trick ourselves into seeing miracles we blind ourselves to the beauty of miracle that surrounds us already. Just saying.