I love the drama in the stories of Jesus’ resurrection, watching the progression from sadness and despair to confusion and then to joy. One minute life is dark and pointless and the next, it’s bright and full of possibility. Jesus’ presence changes everything.
I’ve experienced this myself and seen it in others as we bring our troubles into the light. There, in Christ’s presence, the very thing we’re afraid of loses its power, and trust rises. It’s a miracle moment.
Speaking of miracles, my Christmas cactus is in full bloom for the fourth time since before Advent. It seems Christ wants to bring new life everywhere, in everything.
I came across this quote:
If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future–and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life. ―Thích Nhất Hạnh,
After I read this, I noticed times when I’m not alive. I often rush through one activity to get to another. I also noticed, just as Thích Nhất Hạnh says, that when I finally get to do what I wanted to, it’s not as satisfying as I’d hoped.
When Christ appeared to me in this quote, I wasn’t sad or desperate. I was feeling flat and bored, looking for the next best thing to entertain me. My Lord showed me there’s no life in that tomb. The miracle is right here, right now, in this moment.
Thích Nhất Hạnh writes,
. . . the real miracle is not to walk on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child–our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
Hmm. This is going to take some practice.
Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom
of God without being born from above.” –-John 3:3 (NIV)
Thích Nhất Hạnh, born in 1926, is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. He lives in the Plum Village meditation center in southwest France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. After a long-term of exile, he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam in 2005. Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English. He is active in the peace movement, promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict. His book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, teaches people of any religion how to be consciously alive to every moment. (Wikipedia)